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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: gomro on May 10, 2007, 12:54:54 PM

Title: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: gomro on May 10, 2007, 12:54:54 PM
Any thoughts about the composer the author Milan Kundera christened "the prophet of insensibility?" Personally, I disagree completely with Kundera's assessment (though it was meant in a positive fashion): recondite mathematics or not, there is plenty of emotion in Xenakis' best music.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: val on May 12, 2007, 02:52:35 AM
It is difficult to understand Kundera words. I suspect that he never heard some of the greatest works of Xenakis. It is absurd to say that "Nuits", one of the most impressive and terrifying works of our time, shows "insensibility".
The same with masterpieces like Medea or Komboi.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: paul on May 12, 2007, 06:02:59 AM
Any thoughts about the composer the author Milan Kundera christened "the prophet of insensibility?" Personally, I disagree completely with Kundera's assessment (though it was meant in a positive fashion): recondite mathematics or not, there is plenty of emotion in Xenakis' best music.

Xenakis would disagree with the idea of his music having emotions. Xenakis seemed to firmly believe that his music only expressed music and I don't believe that he had any intent of expressing emotions through his music given his attention to timbre and structure. Additionally, I can see Xenakis thinking of emotion in music as being manipulative, given his thoughts about freedom and music. At the premiere performance of La Légende d'Eer, he wrote in the introductory notes: "Music is not a language. Any musical piece is akin to a boulder with complex forms, with striations and engraved designs atop and within, which men can decipher in a thousand different ways without ever finding the right answer or the best one." I'd be interested in reading what Kundera has to say about Xenakis and what he means by insensibility.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: gomro on May 12, 2007, 09:57:26 AM
Xenakis would disagree with the idea of his music having emotions. Xenakis seemed to firmly believe that his music only expressed music and I don't believe that he had any intent of expressing emotions through his music given his attention to timbre and structure. Additionally, I can see Xenakis thinking of emotion in music as being manipulative, given his thoughts about freedom and music. At the premiere performance of La Légende d'Eer, he wrote in the introductory notes: "Music is not a language. Any musical piece is akin to a boulder with complex forms, with striations and engraved designs atop and within, which men can decipher in a thousand different ways without ever finding the right answer or the best one." I'd be interested in reading what Kundera has to say about Xenakis and what he means by insensibility.

Xenakis is correct about music (Stravinsky said much the same thing), but if he denied emotions in his work, he missed the depth of his own analogy. Men will "decipher" boulders or clouds or music "in a thousand different ways," and they will bring their own cultural and intellectual baggage to the game as well. Thus, to one listener, Jonchaies seems to be unbridled rage, to another a spaceship voyage, to yet a third a Rubik's cube of musical timbres, pitches and rhythms -- and each of these will also have emotional response based on their analysis of what they hear.   Even Kundera, in his tribute "Prophet of the Insensible," states that he found pleasure in listening to Xenakis' work, while simultaneously confessing its complexity and intellectualism. (I am trying to find the precise quote; it's not in English on Google, anyway. I'll dig it up eventually...)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on May 14, 2007, 08:12:32 AM
Xenakis is one of my favorite composers, even though I've just heard the tip of the iceberg as far as his massive output is concerned.  But Erikhthon has become a favorite, as has Nuits.  I haven't yet heard anything by him I haven't liked.

His music is filled with emotion, to my ears, even if that was not his intent.  Although he may have used compositional methods designed to eliminate emotional content, it shows up anyway (which somehow I think is part of his brilliance). 

Recently at St. Thomas Church here in NYC, I heard organist Kevin Bowyers play Gmeeoorh (with the help of two other organists!) and liked it better than any other work on the program.  Near the end are some fortissimo passages (or probably more like "fffff") that made me wonder about the structural integrity of the building.  ;D  Just amazing. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on May 14, 2007, 08:27:41 AM
Thus, to one listener, Jonchaies seems to be unbridled rage
TO THE EXTREME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  >:D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: karlhenning on May 14, 2007, 08:31:14 AM
His music is filled with emotion, to my ears, even if that was not his intent.  Although he may have used compositional methods designed to eliminate emotional content, it shows up anyway (which somehow I think is part of his brilliance).

Interesting.  A composer finds the methods amenable to him, and then the work exists, in some ways apart from many of the ideas that went into it.

I'm intellectually curious as to whether music can be "emotionless" . . . even if that is one of the composer's aims, how would he consider himself to have succeeded, how will he determine that?  And, even if he should succeed, how can he be sure that the listener will not attach emotional content to the music?

Quote from: Bruce
Recently at St. Thomas Church here in NYC, I heard organist Kevin Bowyers play Gmeeoorh (with the help of two other organists!) and liked it better than any other work on the program.  Near the end are some fortissimo passages (or probably more like "fffff") that made me wonder about the structural integrity of the building.  ;D  Just amazing.

Well, he'd studied architecture, Bruce, so he know what stress the structure could withstand  ;D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on May 14, 2007, 08:35:15 AM
I'm intellectually curious as to whether music can be "emotionless" . . .
that's impossible!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on May 14, 2007, 08:47:33 AM
I'm intellectually curious as to whether music can be "emotionless" . . . even if that is one of the composer's aims, how would he consider himself to have succeeded, how will he determine that?  And, even if he should succeed, how can he be sure that the listener will not attach emotional content to the music?

If "emotionless" can be synonymous with "abstract," I think Babbitt, for example, would qualify.  But even he has flickers of humor (and no doubt, other things) in his music. 

My take is that your second sentence is probably the gist of it: we "assign" emotions to chord progressions, keys, timbres -- maybe even specific instruments -- that may or may not be what the composer intended. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: scottscheule on May 14, 2007, 08:48:01 AM
Interesting.  A composer finds the methods amenable to him, and then the work exists, in some ways apart from many of the ideas that went into it.

I'm intellectually curious as to whether music can be "emotionless" . . . even if that is one of the composer's aims, how would he consider himself to have succeeded, how will he determine that?  And, even if he should succeed, how can he be sure that the listener will not attach emotional content to the music?

Interesting question.  By the same token, we could ask whether music can actually have emotion, since some listener may not attach emotional content to the music.  We could ask the same question about "merit."  Some listener may attach no merit to the work--some may attach much.  But I cling to the belief that music's qualities exist independently of subjective appraisals.

My hunch is that the way to judge music's qualities, and thus determine whether it has emotion, et al, is to ask not what every person might possibly feel about it, but rather to judge what the typical reasonable listener would get from it.  Some people may, for instance, find Pierrot Lunaire to be a frightful disorganized mess, but I don't think we need to worry about their opinions.

By that standard, I think it's perfectly possible that music can be emotionless.  However, certain dissonances and consonances, certain rhythms and silences, all can inspire twinges of emotion.  Perhaps a good analogy is temperature: we can make things very close to absolute zero, but never achieve it.  Such may be the case with emotion in music--we can drain most of it, but not all of it.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: mahlertitan on May 14, 2007, 09:04:34 AM
yeah, recommend me a "sad" piece by Xenakis please.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: karlhenning on May 14, 2007, 09:05:04 AM
Still, there is probably a range of music which is intended to be emotional (Mahler, for instance) and music whose emotional 'surface' is, so to speak, less immediate (much of Ravel, for instance).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: scottscheule on May 14, 2007, 09:09:45 AM
Still, there is probably a range of music which is intended to be emotional (Mahler, for instance) and music whose emotional 'surface' is, so to speak, less immediate (much of Ravel, for instance).

Indeed.  Also, it may be helpful to distinguish between two different judgments--the intent of the composer, and the understanding of the listener, which may be quite different.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: karlhenning on May 14, 2007, 10:21:42 AM
And even the intent of the composer has its context, of course.  A lot of listeners are sure they make a personal, emotional connection with music, meaning that they understand the music better than anyone else (e.g.) . . . and then, too, the Romantic literature was the dominant style at the advent of the recording age, so for some portion of the listenership, music which sets out to stake some particularly emotional turf, is The Musical Norm.

The compositional tendency to scoff at all the emotional stuff has a pedigree reaching back to Satie, and Cocteau and Les six.  And, to be sure, one need not scoff, to take a musical position of a relatively emotion-neutral intent.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on May 14, 2007, 11:02:35 AM
Quote
yeah, recommend me a "sad" piece by Xenakis please.
that's hard, since there are so many different shades of "sad".... in fact, much of his music sounds sad, confident and quirky at the same time
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Maciek on May 15, 2007, 11:53:04 AM
that's impossible!

No, I actually think Karl is quite capable of intellectual curiosity...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on May 26, 2007, 10:47:36 AM
Now listening to Xenakis' Metastaseis (1953-54), endlessly intriguing, on a live recording by Charles Zacharie Bornstein and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (superb).  I can't imagine what listeners in the mid-1950s would have made of this score: massed high frequencies, tightly clustered pizzicatos, tremolos everywhere -- all very tense and ultimately quite exciting. 

I don't understand why his scores don't show up in the concert hall more often.  I searched Carnegie Hall's site, just for grins, and there is a single concert in March 2008 with the debut of a young percussionist, Martin Grubinger, doing Psappha and Rebond b, but otherwise, no orchestral pieces, no piano works, nothing.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on May 26, 2007, 11:05:54 AM
Now listening to Xenakis' Metastaseis (1953-54), endlessly intriguing, on a live recording by Charles Zacharie Bornstein and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (superb).  I can't imagine what listeners in the mid-1950s would have made of this score: massed high frequencies, tightly clustered pizzicatos, tremolos everywhere -- all very tense and ultimately quite exciting. 
there's actually a recording on his myspace page of Metastaseis, lol
cooler than the recording i have, probably

I don't understand why his scores don't show up in the concert hall more often.  I searched Carnegie Hall's site, just for grins, and there is a single concert in March 2008 with the debut of a young percussionist, Martin Grubinger, doing Psappha and Rebond b, but otherwise, no orchestral pieces, no piano works, nothing.

--Bruce
Yeah, I've noticed this too, and it's pretty sad. I think one of the reasons is because of his nationality. There's probably 4 or so Elliot Carter CDs at my old library, with none of Xenakis (they just have a CD with a drummer playing Psappha). I think the only pieces the public will ever be familiar with are his solo percussion works  ??? Elliot Carter's american, Xenakis is an "obscure" composers, though one of the most important and influential in the last 50 years.

Oh yeah, and Mikkel told me once that his library had a couple of Norgard CDs... no wonder, he lives in Denmark!  :D i think that's how it works, i'd have a heart attack if i saw my library have a Norgard CD

Xenakis seems to be pretty popular and influential in France, or at least that's the impression I've gotten. I bet if you looked up orchestras in France they might actually have a Xenakis work they play every now and then.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Kullervo on May 26, 2007, 12:57:25 PM
i'd have a heart attack if i saw my library have a Norgard CD

Mine does, the violin concerto (though, to be fair, it's paired with Ligeti). Here in li'l Lakeland, Florida.  8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on May 27, 2007, 09:59:58 AM
Mine does, the violin concerto (though, to be fair, it's paired with Ligeti). Here in li'l Lakeland, Florida.  8)
interesting.... (that's the recording i have, too, the one with Ligeti)
ok, i was exaggerating, but it is surprising (my old library didn't even have any Ligeti either  :P )
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Kullervo on May 27, 2007, 11:34:53 AM
interesting.... (that's the recording i have, too, the one with Ligeti)
ok, i was exaggerating, but it is surprising (my old library didn't even have any Ligeti either  :P )

Yeah, our library has a few interesting curios (like Vagn Holmboe chamber music, Borreson symphonies, etc)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: paul on May 27, 2007, 01:54:45 PM
Now listening to Xenakis' Metastaseis (1953-54), endlessly intriguing, on a live recording by Charles Zacharie Bornstein and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (superb).  I can't imagine what listeners in the mid-1950s would have made of this score: massed high frequencies, tightly clustered pizzicatos, tremolos everywhere -- all very tense and ultimately quite exciting. 

I don't understand why his scores don't show up in the concert hall more often.  I searched Carnegie Hall's site, just for grins, and there is a single concert in March 2008 with the debut of a young percussionist, Martin Grubinger, doing Psappha and Rebond b, but otherwise, no orchestral pieces, no piano works, nothing.

--Bruce

I think that there are two reasons: the difficulty of Xenakis's music and the money that it costs to perform a piece by him. Xenakis often wrote for mixed ensembles that are difficult to put together. For example, how does one go about getting a performance done of N'Shima when the instrumentation is 2 amplified peasant voices, 2 amplified french horns, 2 tenor trombones, and amplified cello? Plus, when they are put together it'll end up costing a lot of money for the rehearsals and preparation, not to mention that most musicians probably don't want to touch anything as technically difficult as Xenakis's music. Fortunately, Xenakis wrote a large number of pieces for solo instruments which seem to be the most frequently performed works by him.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: matticus on May 28, 2007, 09:39:58 AM
Xenakis often wrote for mixed ensembles that are difficult to put together. For example, how does one go about getting a performance done of N'Shima when the instrumentation is 2 amplified peasant voices, 2 amplified french horns, 2 tenor trombones, and amplified cello?

I can't really agree with that; the majority of Xenakis pieces are for very traditional ensembles (lots of orchestral pieces, stuff for string orchestra, string quartets, fairly standard 'sinfonietta' pieces and many solo pieces as you say). I'm having a hard time thinking of anything else for such strange instrumentation as N'Shima.

I think the lack of performances of his work is largely due to the extreme parochialism of countries like the UK and USA and the fact that Xenakis makes very few concessions to traditionalist tastes, even compared to eg. Carter or Boulez -- despite that his music's really more "accessible" than either of those composers, more popular with people outside the traditional classical music audience, and is mostly easier to play.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on May 28, 2007, 10:14:32 AM
I can't really agree with that; the majority of Xenakis pieces are for very traditional ensembles (lots of orchestral pieces, stuff for string orchestra, string quartets, fairly standard 'sinfonietta' pieces and many solo pieces as you say). I'm having a hard time thinking of anything else for such strange instrumentation as N'Shima.
oh, there's a lot more chamber stuff with unusual instrumentation than that- it's actually the combination which is strange, not the actual instruments themselves

I think the lack of performances of his work is largely due to the extreme parochialism of countries like the UK and USA and the fact that Xenakis makes very few concessions to traditionalist tastes, even compared to eg. Carter or Boulez -- despite that his music's really more "accessible" than either of those composers, more popular with people outside the traditional classical music audience, and is mostly easier to play.
true
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: paul on May 28, 2007, 11:01:52 AM
I can't really agree with that; the majority of Xenakis pieces are for very traditional ensembles (lots of orchestral pieces, stuff for string orchestra, string quartets, fairly standard 'sinfonietta' pieces and many solo pieces as you say). I'm having a hard time thinking of anything else for such strange instrumentation as N'Shima.

Akanthos, Eonta, Nyûyô, and Stratégie are pieces I can think of right away that don't use a standard instrumentation. If I looked at a list of works, I'm sure I could find other examples of unusual ensembles of instruments. And about the orchestral works: sure, Xenakis wrote a lot of pieces for orchestra, but the orchestra seems to be rarely set up in the standard way. Two of his best known works, Metastasis and Pithroprakta, have at most two players to a part. You don't have the clear divisions of violin 1, violin 2, et cetera. But, of course there are the more standardized works for SQ and the like. I don't mean to say that Xenakis did not use these ensembles, but very often he didn't or did in ways that make them problematic for a performance at a concert.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on May 28, 2007, 02:53:05 PM
oh yeah, Terretektorh, a really sweet piece where the orchestra members are scattered throughout the audience- i wonder how many performances that one is gonna get?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: gomro on May 28, 2007, 03:31:26 PM
oh yeah, Terretektorh, a really sweet piece where the orchestra members are scattered throughout the audience- i wonder how many performances that one is gonna get?
I'd like to hear at least one more, to compare with the Erato recording from the 60s. I was hoping the Timpani "Complete Orchestral Works" would last long enough to do that and Nomos Gamma, but looks like that hope has fallen through... Theoretically, the placement of the microphones should take the place of the listener, meaning that every recording would be quite a bit different in sound. I guarantee, for instance, that a mic right beside a string player is going to result in a different "crescendo" than a recording in which that same mic ended up beside a bassoon.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on June 07, 2008, 02:14:04 PM
uploaded a bunch of Xenakis files for everyone to listen to:
http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=dcb128f2935e13684012e8015643d9c8f2abfdea14e75549


i named it Xenakis' Xen because a lot of his music, like La Legende, Diamorphoses, Hibiki Hana Ma etc. remind me of this planet from the end of the game Half Life..... here's a few pics.
(and because it's hard to find words with an X at the beginning)

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c4/Xen_halflife_01_AYool.jpg)
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a5/Xen_halflife_08_AYool.jpg)
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7a/Xen_halflife_07_AYool.jpg)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: gomro on June 07, 2008, 02:45:40 PM
uploaded a bunch of Xenakis files for everyone to listen to:
http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=dcb128f2935e13684012e8015643d9c8f2abfdea14e75549


i named it Xenakis' Xen because a lot of his music, like La Legende, Diamorphoses, Hibiki Hana Ma etc. remind me of this planet from the end of the game Half Life..... here's a few pics.
(and because it's hard to find words with an X at the beginning)

I thought it was a play on words... you know, Zen...the Zen of Xenakis, as it were... but I don't play computer games much.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Lethevich on June 08, 2008, 01:57:23 AM
Are there any other Xenakis pieces like Persepolis? I don't really like anything else I've heard by him (well, maybe Agamemnon) as there are always squeaks and bleeps which sound a bit too unmusical/weird to me... Persepolis on the other hand has a rather singular drive to it, maybe bordering on minimalism at times (and certainly sounding similar to some pop music, such as Einstürzende Neubauten).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: springrite on June 08, 2008, 02:20:45 AM
Treasure!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on June 08, 2008, 12:23:28 PM
I thought it was a play on words... you know, Zen...the Zen of Xenakis, as it were... but I don't play computer games much.
I don't either...... but the game was on the PS2.  ;D


Are there any other Xenakis pieces like Persepolis? I don't really like anything else I've heard by him (well, maybe Agamemnon) as there are always squeaks and bleeps which sound a bit too unmusical/weird to me... Persepolis on the other hand has a rather singular drive to it, maybe bordering on minimalism at times (and certainly sounding similar to some pop music, such as Einstürzende Neubauten).
Yes...... definitely listen to La Legende d'Eer. It could almost be classified as minimalism. The whole thing is shaped like a big curve in drama. Starts with lonely little beeps and then progress through sounds into the most ecstatic trance-like techno music ever invented (with sounds that include stuff that sounds like hoses not turned off right and Mario-like video game beeps) and then levels off after time until the little beeps fade off, in a similar manner to the ending of Jonchaies.

As for Persepolis, I didn't really get that one. Listened twice a long time ago, still have it on CD but haven't listened again. I honestly thought it was too long and boring.


Treasure!
dig in, everyone!  8)
And this is just a small part of what i have....... i have over 15 CDs worth of Xenakis, so if anyone has a request, just tell me.  8)



Other favorites/recommendations:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5144OGZSdiL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
choral music - nuits; medea etc.
This one is lacking in my collection.......
download most of these tracks a few years ago and deleted them for some reason. Probably couldn't find all the tracks or something. Or maybe it was hard drive space?


Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: lukeottevanger on June 08, 2008, 12:29:13 PM
Yes, the Arditti set ought to be compulsory. And Tetras, Nomos Alpha and the rest ought to be on everyone's listening list.

Another awe-inspiring piece which I always mention because it's often forgotten is Synaphai; there's a very fine recording of it, but there's also a Japanese reading of it on youtube which makes the jaw drop.

And then there's X's Oresteia - an imagining of ancient Greek music which is echt-Xenakis, in its rawness and hyper-expressivity, its pushing instruments to their extremes and its return to real fundamentals, but which may surprise those who think Xenakis is just stochastic noise. It's full of melody - Xenakis could pen a tune very well, surprisingly! (For instance, I've only heard his Shaar once, and it was maybe two decades ago, but I can still remember its opening melodic line precisely!)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on June 08, 2008, 12:54:39 PM
And then there's X's Oresteia - an imagining of ancient Greek music which is echt-Xenakis, in its rawness and hyper-expressivity, its pushing instruments to their extremes and its return to real fundamentals, but which may surprise those who think Xenakis is just stochastic noise.
Yes, a lot of it is pretty fun stuff though some of the solo singing is ridiculous (just like in the orchestral piece, Ais, which is great with awful singing). In fact, there's a video on youtube with Oresteia..... just don't watch it.  ;D



(For instance, I've only heard his Shaar once, and it was maybe two decades ago, but I can still remember its opening melodic line precisely!)
Shaar has some fascinating writing.

two examples:
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~digimus/xenakis/pages/fig149.html

http://www.uoguelph.ca/~digimus/xenakis/pages/fig148.html

and sieves he uses which make up his melodic sound:

http://www.uoguelph.ca/~digimus/xenakis/pages/fig150.html
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: not edward on June 08, 2008, 01:16:57 PM
Yes, the Arditti set ought to be compulsory. And Tetras, Nomos Alpha and the rest ought to be on everyone's listening list.

Another awe-inspiring piece which I always mention because it's often forgotten is Synaphai; there's a very fine recording of it, but there's also a Japanese reading of it on youtube which makes the jaw drop.

And then there's X's Oresteia - an imagining of ancient Greek music which is echt-Xenakis, in its rawness and hyper-expressivity, its pushing instruments to their extremes and its return to real fundamentals, but which may surprise those who think Xenakis is just stochastic noise. It's full of melody - Xenakis could pen a tune very well, surprisingly! (For instance, I've only heard his Shaar once, and it was maybe two decades ago, but I can still remember its opening melodic line precisely!)
I think Xenakis' melodic gift is somewhat underrated: there are some beautifully austere melodies in Tetora too, for example.

Oresteia is a piece I really need to revisit--tonight, perhaps? Apparently I'm about the only person on the planet who actually likes the Kassandra insert, though I'm not sure how much of that is down to Spyros Sakkas' astonishing voice.

Another piece written for Sakkas which I think shows X's hyper-expressivity very well is Ais. Unfortunately Sakkas' voice had deteriorated by the time of the Timpani recording--but if you get hold of the Col Legno one (a valuable one as it also includes the complete Anastenaria--the end-of-apprenticeship trilogy that starts with almost Orffian choral writing and ends with Metastasis) you can hear him in his prime: just amazing.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: lukeottevanger on June 08, 2008, 01:24:59 PM
I think Xenakis' melodic gift is somewhat underrated: there are some beautifully austere melodies in Tetora too, for example.

Oresteia is a piece I really need to revisit--tonight, perhaps? Apparently I'm about the only person on the planet who actually likes the Kassandra insert, though I'm not sure how much of that is down to Spyros Sakkas' astonishing voice.

No, I've grown to like it too, though when I first heard it I found it uncomfortable. I feel its inclusion in Oresteia makes the whole slightly unbalanced, but as I said on the 'What are you listening to' thread, I think that with the also-intended inclusion of La Déesse Athéne the whole thing would be both better balanced, more integrated and even more monumental.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on June 09, 2008, 04:43:38 PM
anyone have Tamayo's Jonchaies? Mine skips the whole time, and Corey would like a copy of that one, too. It really is better than the one I have uploaded.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on July 22, 2008, 09:29:14 AM
Just when I'm complaining that no one is doing any Xenakis in New York comes the news that this fall, among many other delights, Miller Theatre is presenting his only opera, Oresteia.  The press release is here (http://www.millertheater.com/PDF/PressReleases/MILLERRELEASE2008-09.pdf).

The dates are September 13, 16 and 17, 2008. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on July 22, 2008, 02:56:40 PM
Just when I'm complaining that no one is doing any Xenakis in New York comes the news that this fall, among many other delights, Miller Theatre is presenting his only opera, Oresteia.  The press release is here (http://www.millertheater.com/PDF/PressReleases/MILLERRELEASE2008-09.pdf).

The dates are September 13, 16 and 17, 2008. 

--Bruce
Looks like they have some other fun programs........ i wouldn't mind seeing the Dalbavie, and hey, maybe for a real challenge (for me), the Babbitt SQs.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on November 11, 2008, 08:02:06 AM
They have Keqrops on youtube!  :o
for anyone who hasn't heard it, this is a must-listen!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc3ZV9cSZC0
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on November 11, 2008, 07:19:56 PM
Quote
XENAKIS Tracées
XENAKIS Anastenaria
XENAKIS Sea-Nymphs
XENAKIS Mists
XENAKIS Nuits
XENAKIS Troorkh
XENAKIS Antikhthon

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Martyn Brabbins conductor
Christian Lindberg trombone
Rolf Hind piano
BBC Singers
Sounds like a great night!  0:)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on November 18, 2008, 06:05:20 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-p2rN7iTAA
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on December 23, 2008, 07:54:11 PM
Well, it's good to see one of Xenakis' most unapproachable works, Mycanae Alpha, has 87,000 views and an average rating of 5 stars after 110 votes... and he has other videos around the 70,000 view mark, too.  :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yztoaNakKok
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on May 22, 2009, 05:12:09 AM
The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is heavily involved in a three-concert Xenakis project (Boston last April, Chicago in June and New York in October), and invited me to post on their blog about something related to the composer, so I did (http://www.iceorg.org/xenakis/2009/05/22/xiperspectives-a-visit-from-monotonous-forest/).  :D

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: CRCulver on May 24, 2009, 01:21:25 PM
I've been thinking of the suggestion that Xenakis retired due to progressing Alzheimer's. While James Harley has said that late works like O-Mega bear signs of the composer's failing health, a mid-90s interview with the composer in Dansk Musik Tidskrift and reproduced in English in Anders Beyer's The Voice of Music (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1840142308?ie=UTF8&tag=3636363-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=1840142308) has the composer still sounding sharp as a tack. The only foreboding passage is when Xenakis claims that he has no memory of Jonchaies, but with an oeuvre as large as his and a desire to always move onward, that's understandable.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on May 29, 2009, 12:00:48 PM
Happy Birthday, Iannis Xenakis, who would have been 87 today.  PS, this site has probably been mentioned, but I stumbled across it today, Les Amis de Xenakis (http://www.iannis-xenakis.org/xen/index.html).

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on June 05, 2009, 07:13:25 AM
A fine review (http://chicagoclassicalreview.com/2009/06/xenakis-on-ice-draws-a-sell-out-crowd-at-moca/) in the Chicago Classical Review of last night's all-Xenakis concert by the International Contemporary Ensemble.  They are repeating the program in New York in October, and I can't wait.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on June 05, 2009, 11:26:16 AM
That's interesting, they even performed O-Mega...

now, only if they'd come to Florida.... ::)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 05, 2009, 11:38:16 AM
No Xenakis recordings looming on the horizon???

Haven't gotten the JACK Qrt. yet. Anyone?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on June 05, 2009, 11:55:36 AM
Wow, I didn't even realize the Jack Quartet had released a recording, but here it is, all four quartets--and on DVD, too.  I will certainly get this very soon. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on February 08, 2010, 12:19:02 PM
Thanks for that great news about the new Xenakis DVD, which I see also has the JACK Quartet again.  Their performance of the four string quartets on Friday night was just mind-blowing, and if anything, better than their concert two years ago.  The venue--the 250-seat concert hall in the Morgan Library (below)--offered even better sound.  As one friend put it, "I heard things I may have missed in the earlier performance."

Of the four, my two favorites remain ST/4 (1962) and Tetras (1983), each showing off the JACK musicians' virtuosity to the hilt.  Their explosive reading of Tetras ended the program and got them huge cheers--the audience brought them out four or five times.  (No encore, but I have no idea what could follow that quartet.) 

Interestingly, neither Tetora (1990) nor Ergma (1994) has any glissando, one of the composer's often-used devices.  The friend with me thought Ergma especially interesting, with its thick chords played fff sounding like an out-of-tune concertina. 

We were sitting fairly close, in the fifth or six row, and were able to get glimpses of the scores, all fairly terrifying.  It's a real testament to the abilities of these young musicians (all in their 20s, I believe) that they can play these pieces with such utter confidence and authority.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on February 08, 2010, 12:48:25 PM
Still have that Xenakis String Quartet DVD on my list, have to get that eventually.

A new Xenakis Chamber Music DVD "Works with Piano" is being released Jan. 26, 2010 ...

(http://cover7.cduniverse.com/CDUCoverArt/video/Large/8030657.jpg)

Eonta, for 2 trumpets, 3 trombones and piano (1963–64)
Morsima-Amorsima for piano, violin, cello & double-bass (1956-1962)
Akea, for piano and string quartet (1986)
Paille in the Wind, for cello and piano (1992)
Awesome!  :o


Thanks for that great news about the new Xenakis DVD, which I see also has the JACK Quartet again.  Their performance of the four string quartets on Friday night was just mind-blowing, and if anything, better than their concert two years ago.  The venue--the 250-seat concert hall in the Morgan Library (below)--offered even better sound.  As one friend put it, "I heard things I may have missed in the earlier performance."

Of the four, my two favorites remain ST/4 (1962) and Tetras (1983), each showing off the JACK musicians' virtuosity to the hilt.  Their explosive reading of Tetras ended the program and got them huge cheers--the audience brought them out four or five times.  (No encore, but I have no idea what could follow that quartet.) 

Interestingly, neither Tetora (1990) nor Ergma (1994) has any glissando, one of the composer's often-used devices.  The friend with me thought Ergma especially interesting, with its thick chords played fff sounding like an out-of-tune concertina. 

We were sitting fairly close, in the fifth or six row, and were able to get glimpses of the scores, all fairly terrifying.  It's a real testament to the abilities of these young musicians (all in their 20s, I believe) that they can play these pieces with such utter confidence and authority.

--Bruce
Lucky guy...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on February 08, 2010, 12:53:17 PM
Lucky guy...

If you don't have that DVD yet, get it immediately!  Truly, these guys are giving the Arditti's a run for their money, and that's saying something.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 08, 2010, 09:23:18 PM
Still have that Xenakis String Quartet DVD on my list, have to get that eventually.

A new Xenakis Chamber Music DVD "Works with Piano" is being released Jan. 26, 2010 ...

(http://cover7.cduniverse.com/CDUCoverArt/video/Large/8030657.jpg)

Eonta, for 2 trumpets, 3 trombones and piano (1963–64)
Morsima-Amorsima for piano, violin, cello & double-bass (1956-1962)
Akea, for piano and string quartet (1986)
Paille in the Wind, for cello and piano (1992)

This is madness! ::)Again, I have to get a whole cd of Eonta and Akrata just to get a 3min new piece. MADNESS! >:DWhen? When will Mode release reasonable recitals for this series? NEVER! obviously!

Ok, the 4 SQs, ok, I understand that,... though why they could've added...well, nevermind, that's fine, but practically every other release in their series is a big mixed up mish mash, IMHO. And NOW, Takahashi releases a second volume, seemingly gathering together the most head scratching Xenakis recital EVER, IMO. Ugh ugh ugh :-\ :-X >:D.

Whew, I just gotta vent. I got a big boner when I saw your post, but then went limp.

I thought the first Takahashi disc was a bit odd, adding Palimpsest and all, but why they couldn't have put Paille on that one,... I don't know, honestly I'm not really looking forward to any more of these Mode discs. I personally think they've done a baffling job here documenting Xenakis,... simply adding new recordings of pieces we already have heard, while things like the great orchestral/choral trilogy (Cendrees, Anemoessa, Nekuia) remain undone.

Can I get a witness?

Thanks for that great news about the new Xenakis DVD, which I see also has the JACK Quartet again.  Their performance of the four string quartets on Friday night was just mind-blowing, and if anything, better than their concert two years ago.  The venue--the 250-seat concert hall in the Morgan Library (below)--offered even better sound.  As one friend put it, "I heard things I may have missed in the earlier performance."

Of the four, my two favorites remain ST/4 (1962) and Tetras (1983), each showing off the JACK musicians' virtuosity to the hilt.  Their explosive reading of Tetras ended the program and got them huge cheers--the audience brought them out four or five times.  (No encore, but I have no idea what could follow that quartet.) 

Interestingly, neither Tetora (1990) nor Ergma (1994) has any glissando, one of the composer's often-used devices.  The friend with me thought Ergma especially interesting, with its thick chords played fff sounding like an out-of-tune concertina. 

We were sitting fairly close, in the fifth or six row, and were able to get glimpses of the scores, all fairly terrifying.  It's a real testament to the abilities of these young musicians (all in their 20s, I believe) that they can play these pieces with such utter confidence and authority.

--Bruce

oh, someone has some good news! ;D THAT I would like to see!

2 other new X items recent to the market ...

Feb. 23rd this EMI issue ...>> LINK (http://www.amazon.com/20th-Century-Xenakis-Atrees-Nomos/dp/B002ZBTWMY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1265669886&sr=1-2)

&

back in Nov. 09 ..
all the Timpani releases were issued under one roof ...

(http://www.timpani-records.com/MAJ300909/xenakis_couv_fiche.jpg)
http://www.timpani-records.com/xenakisbox.php

And,... more depressing news :'(.

ok, I'm sure I will have to dutifully get the EMI, though, aren't many of those performances on the RZ Edition 2-cd? I'm so jaded now, I'm just not even that excited,...oh, what has become of my Xenakis mania? :'(

And, the MOST DEPRESSING HINT of all is that Timpani has wrapped up their Xenakis series. Why else offer the five? Why not have offered the choral/orchestral trilogy also? :'( :'( :'( Why why why??



ok, here I wallow in my misery. Will I ever be satisfied with a Xenakis release again? Will the choral trilogy go unrecorded (a suspect not)? Will someone record good versions of the stuff that Mode fluffed (Plekto, others...)?

And, WHY??, if they've got two cds of Takahashi now, did they not re-record Plekto with her??

MADNESS, I tell you. Madness.



ok, the only silver lining I see is this. Remember how this series got started on Vandenberg, which released "Xenakis in N.Y.", and "Iannissimo!", and then folded, and then the same group continued with two cds for Mode, which then became that label's Vols 1-2?

Well, it appears that Mode is duplicating Eonta from the Vandenberg disc, so maybe they will also re-record Kai, Kuillenn, and other late Xenakis that, frankly, was horribly recorded.

ok,...now I have a headache. Please, someone soothe my fractured Xenakis nerves. ???

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on February 09, 2010, 05:25:09 AM
Oh well, guess their efforts can't please everyone especially hardcore buffs like yourself.  :D

Just picked up the Mode 2 volumes of electronic music ...  La Legende d'Eer, Hibiki Hana Ma, Polytope de Cluny

(http://cover7.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/08/551708.jpg)(http://cover7.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/01/1049201.jpg)

I was at the La Légende d'Eer concert in NYC a few years back with sound projection by Gérard Pape and got the Mode DVD of that work then just for the video track. Sonically, I think the Montaigne recording is better, but perhaps that is colored by my not liking at all what Pape did during the concert (essentially moving all faders up and down with rates of 0.1-2 Hz), plus the sound was too loud throughout.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 09, 2010, 08:59:26 AM
Here are other "new" recordings that I haven't seen here yet:

1) "Plekto" on a various artists cd... can't remember the label or artists.

2)Computer Realizations of X's Piano/Harpsichord Music (NEOS)

3) "Dikthas" on a new ECM release (w/Feldman, Zimmermann,...)

4) more percussion on a new cd (seen on Amazon; no details)

5) the "Lutoslawski in Memoriam" on some Czech-type various cd

6) "Sea-Change" (his last orchestral work) on some strange Greek label (they have a website; I just haven't been able to find it again after I accidentally found it)



Hey, I should just be thankful for what we've got, right?



Either way, Timpani OWES us recordings of "Sea-Change", "Korinoioi(?)", the choral trilogy, "Alax", and a few others.... arrrgh >:D ;D



I just want what I want,...when I want it! That's all! :D


Get me a bag,... I'm hyperventilating!! :P
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on February 09, 2010, 10:59:14 AM
I have the NEOS disc with the computer realizations. It is interesting; however the same pieces have a lot more "power" and "authority" when played by a human (as in e.g. the Arditti/Helffer disc).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on February 09, 2010, 12:54:16 PM
Snyprr, you say the funniest things...

I would like to see a few more works of his that aren't on completely obscure labels, but at least it seems they are putting out more of his more obscure works, little by little. It'd be nice to be able to collect all of his stuff from less obscure sources.



Quote
Either way, Timpani OWES us recordings of "Sea-Change", "Korinoioi(?)", the choral trilogy, "Alax", and a few others.... arrrgh >:D ;D
I agree. They need to do another CD (or however many it takes) and sell them as a complete orchestral works set. If someone wrote an e-mail to them requesting this, I would do the same just so they know there's more than 2 or 3 people actually into this stuff (halfway surprised this much is even recorded).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on February 09, 2010, 01:37:00 PM
Really? I have that one but I haven't listened to the Mode one yet to compare sound quality so.

What's your opinion of the Percussion Works set (if you have it)...

(http://cover7.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/29/1141029.jpg)

I don't have that one; I don't find Xenakis' percussion works very interesting (yet ;)).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on February 09, 2010, 07:22:16 PM
You're probably not going to like this but ... those bastards at Mode are also releasing (Feb.23rd) another DVD, a documentary on him called Charisma X.
Found some of it on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFD7onAYlDg

oh... how dare they make this!  :D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 09, 2010, 10:05:10 PM
I have the NEOS disc with the computer realizations. It is interesting; however the same pieces have a lot more "power" and "authority" when played by a human (as in e.g. the Arditti/Helffer disc).

That's the kind of thing I need to hear. The Tiensuu version of the first harpsichord piece supercedes Choinacka, and I can't imagine what a machine could do to better it.

If someone wrote an e-mail to them requesting this, I would do the same just so they know there's more than 2 or 3 people actually into this stuff (halfway surprised this much is even recorded).

Anytime you write a record company, or your politician, or whimever, always say you're part of a group, say, the head of the Jersey Friends of Xenakis, or something; then they will think you've got others behind you! :D

I wrote Timpani back when they were slackin' between vols 2 and 3, haha, serious! I was like, hey yo, wazzup wit da Xeny Xen?? But yea, SOMEONE is going to have to finish the job (like with Ligeti Sony/Teldec).

HOW many groups out there have Xenakis in their name, and what do we hear from them? How about the Xenakis Ensemble on BVHAAST. What?- 2, 3 pieces on two cds?? Oh, and you call yourselves the Xenakis Ensemble??, oh, for shame, for shame. ok, I'm ranting again, I'm sorry ;D!

But I will probably write them again.

You're probably not going to like this but ... those bastards at Mode are also releasing (Feb.23rd) another DVD, a documentary on him called Charisma X.

DVD ? Is that like Super8?

No, but that sounds cool. I'll check youtube.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on February 10, 2010, 01:56:10 PM
Anytime you write a record company, or your politician, or whimever, always say you're part of a group, say, the head of the Jersey Friends of Xenakis, or something; then they will think you've got others behind you! :D

I wrote Timpani back when they were slackin' between vols 2 and 3, haha, serious! I was like, hey yo, wazzup wit da Xeny Xen?? But yea, SOMEONE is going to have to finish the job (like with Ligeti Sony/Teldec).

HOW many groups out there have Xenakis in their name, and what do we hear from them? How about the Xenakis Ensemble on BVHAAST. What?- 2, 3 pieces on two cds?? Oh, and you call yourselves the Xenakis Ensemble??, oh, for shame, for shame. ok, I'm ranting again, I'm sorry ;D!

But I will probably write them again.
Nice... well, if you do get to it, tell me.  ;)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on April 25, 2010, 02:40:21 PM
Got this one yesterday.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2BhLDHvxCL._SS500_.jpg)

At last a good-sounding recording of Eonta, along with some works I didn't yet have (Morsima-Amorsima and Paille in the Wind). I can finally put to rest the old Chants du Monde recording of Metastaseis, Pithoprakta and Eonta.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on April 25, 2010, 03:07:22 PM
Looks delicious!  :o
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 25, 2010, 06:37:15 PM
Got this one yesterday.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2BhLDHvxCL._SS500_.jpg)

At last a good-sounding recording of Eonta, along with some works I didn't yet have (Morsima-Amorsima and Paille in the Wind). I can finally put to rest the old Chants du Monde recording of Metastaseis, Pithoprakta and Eonta.

Ah, sacre bleu!!

I was JUST listening to the CdM today for the first time in a long while (hmmm,...psychic waves??). I've always been perplexed by Eonta, so, I made myself listen. I guess Xenakis just writes in sectional blocks,... that's the only way I can interpret this piece.

But I must say, I enjoyed the 1965 recording (the piece itself certainly is some kind of a 'Being', that's for sure). As I'm sure you know, we have recordings of Eonta from London Brass (Teldec), even another version on Mode (ST-X Ensemble), BVHAAST (Xenakis Ensemble 'live'?), and, I'm just going to  assume two others out there I can't think of. I mean, this is Xenakis' 'lollipop', no??, haha!! You'll just have to forgive me,...your comment 'finally' a good version of Eonta (well, I'm actually sure it is the best now!).

(I'm just tired of recordings of Eonta and Rebonds, at the expense of, say, Linea Agon, or, Psappha.)

Morisma-Amorisma (the PQ version of the ST series) I have on Accord. But, I can see now, that we have a pretty good alternative to the Arditti set, which has reigned for almost 20 years! I'm assuming that Mode will put all the solo string pieces on one album.

You know, I've said before how I'm exasperated with Mode's programming of their series. I mean, on this new cd, would it have been a hassle to include Pour Maurice, or even a much needed better version of Plekto? I mean, between two cds now, all based on the piano, and many pieces are missing. Wazzup??

(Oh, and I did send a note to Timpani the other day concerning the demise of their Xenakis Series. No response yet.)

And now we have 3 versions of Akea (do we have 4??). One of my favs. Needed.

So, Mode, I have to buy a whole other album for just one new premiere, and, four minutes at that?? Where's the love? You really should have taken my advice and done a 'Xenakis & the Trombone' album. Anyhow, I ramble,...

Anyhow, the sinking feeling that I'm going to get this album, plus get the first Aki/Mode/Xenakis Piano disc, AGAIN!!, YES, THAT SINKING FEELING IS HITTING ME, HAHA. (OOPS CAPS)



btw- I was looking over the Xenakis Library here, looking at what's missing, and I'm at the point where I have to get a whole other album just to get one new piece (Col Legno w/Anasteraria, Troorkh, & Ais). See, why couldn't Mode have been intelligent, and planned their Series the way a Xenakis nut would have? We would have been more pragmatic, and more creative at the same time!

Oy, I rant on, don't I?? ::)

Please people, just give us our final Xenakis pieces so we can go home already!! >:D You can even skip Strategie and Duel, but please, where are the Great Works for Chorus & Orchestra (Cendrees, Anamoessa, Nekuia)??

Madness!



Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on April 25, 2010, 06:39:56 PM
Oy, I rant on, don't I?? ::)
Not at all...

btw, I predict you will be buying this CD before long. Sorry.  :D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: some guy on April 26, 2010, 08:59:25 AM
I recently purchased the two disc set with Persepolis on one and nine remixes on the other. I remember when this first came out. It was a time when "remix" was for me a bad word. But I had just listened to my Fractal disc of Persepolis before going down to Anthem Records here in Portland, OR, and I saw that the Persepolis remix set on Asphodel was still sitting in the bin, and this time I picked it up and looked at the list of remixes. Otomo Yoshihide, Ryoji Ikeda, Zbigniew Karkowski, Francisco Lopez, Merzbow--wait a minute! Those are some of my favorite new music people!!--as well as Antimatter, Construction Kit, Laminar, and Ulf Langheinrich, whom I'd not heard of before.

Am I ever glad I got this. What a sweet set this is, to be sure. Highly recommended. (Thanks to all of you so far for all the mentions of various discs that I don't have. I have 34 so far, but half a dozen or more of the ones you all have mentioned are ones I don't have. Time to tighten the belt and spend money on music instead of food.)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on April 26, 2010, 11:40:50 AM
Got this one yesterday.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2BhLDHvxCL._SS500_.jpg)

At last a good-sounding recording of Eonta, along with some works I didn't yet have (Morsima-Amorsima and Paille in the Wind). I can finally put to rest the old Chants du Monde recording of Metastaseis, Pithoprakta and Eonta.

Thanks for posting, this looks great.  (But then, given the personnel involved, how could it not be?) 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 27, 2010, 01:31:21 PM
This programme of trombone works has got a good Troorkh ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51osqkphCdL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Dedicated to Christian Lindberg (http://www.amazon.com/Dedicated-Christian-Lindberg-Hybrid-SACD/dp/B000OT8K2M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1272258983&sr=8-2)

I went ahead with the ColLegno w/Anateraria and Ais (as if I needed another version of this, my least fav Xenakis work (but hey! they say Sakkas 'sings' better on this one, 20 years earlier. I guess I'm so desperate, I neeed to hear this,...oh, woe is me!!!)). I believe Svoboda plays tbone here. Honestly, I just with Lindberg would have done an all Xenakis/tbone disc, which would have,hrhm, Zythos, for tbone & 6 percs. Why can't they see these simple things?

Keren
Troorkh
Zythos
N'Shima (2)*
Epei (2)*
Eonta (3)*
Linea-Agon

Why wasn't that simple, Christian?? Why?Why?Why?


..."just give me what I want, and I'll go away"...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 27, 2010, 01:34:41 PM
Anybody know the recordings here? I have the earlier Mode version, which, could be a little better, I think.

That leaves the Rascher on BIS, the Rascher on Caprice, and the Habanera on the intriguingly titled cd, Mysterious Morning. Does anyone have two or more versions?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 27, 2010, 09:41:23 PM
I'm sorry, I just haven't been the same since Four Last Downloads!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 29, 2010, 09:05:17 AM
I found about seven different performances of Psappha on YouTube. Basically, I spend last night getting reaquainted. Without waxing poetic on it's genesis, and soforth, I will merely state that it is THE percussion piece of note ( :P), and that it's duration is listed as '13mins'.

The only performance I've ever had was Gert Mortenson's BIS version, from the '80s, one of the first, and apparently, still one of the best. Either I couldn't handle the discmates, or I thought I'd find better, but I should have kept it. I think he uses a special instrument at the end, when all there is is the big bass drum, and the oscillating metallic sounds: most seem to use single plates, but it appears Mortenson uses a bell tree of some kind. GM clocks in at 11:15, a a fairly quick clip.

Sylio Gualda's pioneering performance on Vol.2 of his famous LP survey of Modern percusiion works, has never made it to CD, but, I think there is a performance by him on the new Mode video, Charisma X. Still, I'd looove to hear his original version. I hear his choice of big, boomy tom toms is quite unique and different from the rest.  Anyone know this one?

Steven Schick's new Mode version has been described as 'delicate', and, that he makes it look really easy. Also, his choice of instruments has been described as fitting in a suitcase. He has a performance on YouTube in which you can see and hear that he uses quite a tight little setup, as opposed to some other's more expansive kits. Personally, I hear drums when he plays, and not Greek Theater. I simpl;y don't like his choice of instruments. His performance on YouTube, however, is of course just fine (though I find him stiff), and his Mode time is a solid 13:59. I think his '80s disc, 'Drumming in the Dark' does not contain this piece, but Xenakis' other percussion classic.

Michael Pugliese has had the most visible version for years, on his recital, 'Perkin at Merkin', but, this recording has been roundly and continually berated. All I know is that he clocks in at an astounding 16:02.

Pedro Cameiro's newish recital on ZigZag Territories (containing only 40mins of music, but doubles as a DVD) has been getting instant classic reviews since it came out. There is a 3min video on YouTube, in which you get a taste of the instruments used, and, some other reviewer commented on how 'resonant' PC sounds as compared to SS. There's really no way I can't be curious about this recording, though, of course, the programming does leave something to be desired. PC clocks in at a quicker than SS 12:40.

Apparently, there was an old Koch recording of an all Xenakis program ( :o), whaaat? (ANYONE??) that I have never ever heard of (??), and someone named Jooihara on CBS LP?? This is off the Xenakis site.

Markus Leoson, on Caprice, has 2 cds of recital, with one Xenakis piece on each cd. These recitals come from the late '80s or early '90s, so, they've been around a while, but, there is no further illumination available. Still, his strong profile in the catalogue begs a consideration, perhaps.

Peter Sadlo is another name that many may be familiar with, having shown up on a few famous Koch recitals from '80s/'90s. I have no recollection of his playing, but his profile is pretty strong, and I can't imagine him not having a strong performance. His performance of Psappha can be found on a Teldec cd, 'Drum Together', along with some more current perc ensemble pieces. This one I'm really curious about. No info.

Roland Auzet is another name many may be familiar with. He shows up in the catalogue, and his performance may be found on the percussion BoxSet, which I believe also is on Mode (but I'm probably wrong about that label). He also has a recording of O-Mega on this set. No info.



There are also versions by Hauke (NMC,...that Russian label), the Demoe Percussion Ensemble on Stradivarius, and the name I forget on a cd called 'Traces'. The Demoe has been around a while, but I've heard no reviews (and it includes Persephassa!!).



That does it for the physical recordings. Now I will attempt to remember the performances I saw on YouTube, which I hope you all will check out and comment on:

1) There is an middle aged Japanese man, who looks as though he's playing in the middle of a concert hall stage. Wow! Compare his fluid arm movement with Schick's more stiffly robotic moves! This guy truly makes it all look like a walk in the park, and you can hear the fluidity. Does anyone else like this one? He clocks in @10mins, very quick indeed, but perfect nonetheless.

2) Look for the young Chinese student, who looks like he's playing in a practice room. The video sound so distorts the sounds of the instruments, that something incredible happens. Everytime he hits certain instruments, the illusion of hitting synth pads is overwhelming, and,...tell me,...tell me, that if you use your imagination, that this is really the way the piece is supposed to sound. It really sounds like a 'being, or a 'character, and not like drums (because the distortions make them not sound like drums anymore). Please, please, listen to this one, and use your imagination, and tell me if you don't think that this piece truly needs to be played on synth pads with highly composed sounds. He clocks in longer than most (he's just a student).

3) Next, we have Andrew Dunsmore (?; I think the last name is off, but, look for the guy with the shiny grey shirt!). He plays very slowly, which, though it brings out ionteresting detail, also makes the middle section pauses almost interminable. He uses wood poles instead of the customary metal pieces in the beginning. The sounds of his instruments truly circumvent the audio problems so many of these percussionists have, playing this Epic piece is such non-reverb friendly arenas (Schick's YouTube video is really dry). This is a good listening version though. Some are not recorded well. Here, you can at least hear what's going on.

4) Andreas Kalitzky (I think) is the guy who looks like he's playing the Heavy Metal drum set (very black). His is one of the slowest of all (the pauses are hilariously interminable), and he has a very tom heavy, rock sound. I'm afraid that by this time I'm getting a bit critical, so, sorry Andreas, you go to the bottom of the pile.

5) So too is another guy (#1) you will catch playing fairly slowly, and in bad light. His recording is particularly bad, and it is very hard to follow.

6) Another guy (#2), also in auditorium recital, has a petter performance, but the camera is at a distance. You can tell this performance by the dancer at the end.

7) Another guy (#3) may have one of the best performances of all. He's the one who is billed as being the percussionist of some Modern Ensemble. He is playing on an instrument strewn stage in what looks like a school auditorium. He has one of the quickest (maybe the quickest so far) timings (@10mins), and his prowess is pretty beyond question. Check this guy out! His choice of instruments, too, adds.

8) I'm leaving this last slot for what I think is one last, dark and murkily filmed, performance, that I can't remember (it may not be). Either that, or there is one other good performance. This is Performer X.







One thing that distinguishes some from others is the use of the giant, timpani-looking drum, favored by some (Schick doesn't use this). Also, I think Mortenson's the only one who appears to use a bell tree at the end, instead of individual pieces. Also, at the end, some add the giant drum to the bass drum (which Schick also doesn't do).

Being a self-fancied percussionist, I take exception with Xenakis' disdain of the myriad sounds that percussionists wanted to bring to his music. Honestly, I think a whole new setup needs to be built to fully open up this piece to it's potential. I perfectly believe that electronic pads could/should be used to turn this 'drum' piece into the actual symphony that it is. No one,...no one (Gualda?) seems to have taken liberty with this piece. I would love to learn it just to play it 'My Way'. I even think you'd agree with the results.

So, does anyone want to talk about Psappha? ;D

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on April 29, 2010, 01:06:53 PM
I saw you mentioned Markus Leoson.
Are you acquainted with this CD?

http://www.amazon.com/Markussion-Heavy-Loaded-Percussion-Recital/dp/B0000A4G6W
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: some guy on April 29, 2010, 02:56:29 PM
The Auzet set I have has a DVD of Psappha that takes 13:15 minutes. That's coupled with Rebonds A & B. Omega and Kassandra are both on one of the CDs, which also has Rebonds and a slightly quicker performance of Psappha (12:33).

And you're right; it is on Mode.

Pretty sweet set overall. I should give it another listen soon. (I remember one of the pieces being really lame. Looking over the list, I'm tempted to say it's the Alsina Themen, but please don't anyone quote me on that!)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on April 29, 2010, 03:32:50 PM
The Auzet set I have has a DVD of Psappha that takes 13:15 minutes. That's coupled with Rebonds A & B. Omega and Kassandra are both on one of the CDs, which also has Rebonds and a slightly quicker performance of Psappha (12:33).

And you're right; it is on Mode.

Pretty sweet set overall. I should give it another listen soon. (I remember one of the pieces being really lame. Looking over the list, I'm tempted to say it's the Alsina Themen, but please don't anyone quote me on that!)

Interesting, I was unaware of the existence of O-mega on disc. Always felt curious about it (that mystique about being the last work he composed, and named accordingly).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 29, 2010, 05:35:46 PM
Interesting, I was unaware of the existence of O-mega on disc. Always felt curious about it (that mystique about being the last work he composed, and named accordingly).

It's also on the second BVHAAST cd by the Xenakis Ensemble. It's only four mins., and I do believe it doesn't promise much (4mins of Waarg, plus percussion).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 07, 2010, 06:28:06 AM
I just got the ColLegno release containing Anatenaria, Ais, & Troorkh.

First off, this is the Ais to get. It was recorded 20 years before the other version on Timpani, and Sakkas' voice is another instrument! Just compare the 'scream' within the first min. If you hadn't had heard the earlier version, the second one may not raise a mention, but, after hearing the original,...wow! Ais was always at the bottom of my Xenakis list (I've now had all three versions (the third, with the 'other' Xenakis vocalist, Philip Larson (it's an also ran))), but, this version makes a believer out of me. Usually, I don't go for this kind of thing, but, when Sakkas is instructed to make 'horse screams', in this version the effect is close to terrifying! Also, now I can concentrate on the music, which is of course from the GoldenAge! Some interesting effects, as usual.

Anatenaria, honestly, didn't move me. The first part sounds like Stravinsky-meets-Orff (as everyone says), the second part has some pre-Metastasis type stuff, and, here, Metastasis is, eh, mmm. I do appreciate what Bornstein has done for Xenakis fans, but I just don't find him delivering in any of his recordings. Wazzup??? Still, this music left me limp (and, the recording isn't as good as the rest of the album).

Troorkh was the draw for me. Not being a fan of Dox-Orkh, I wondered how similar the two would be, and I was pleasantly surprised. It doesn't seem as blocky as the violin concerto. Anyhow, the star is, of course, the hypnotizing sound of the trombone. Here, Mike Svoboda sounds like he is channeling spirits, his concentration and tone are so hush-worthy. Without really commenting on the piece per se, I just want to say that a 20min t-bone concerto like this will send me to another planet!

I was able to compare Svoboda with the new Lindberg on BIS (which are both conducted by Peter Rundel). Honestly, the music sounds pretty much exact (the BIS may be a little fresher recording), and, for the most part, the t-bone parts are ID. BUTTTTTTT,....apparently, Mr. Lindberg is barely human!!, because this man is UN-BE-LEEEEv-able!! Every now and then, his tone will just overtake you! I want to stress that, if this is as good as Svoboda can play, well, then he's STILL the man! If this concerto is a difficult as one might think, then one totally gives it to Mr. Svoboda. It's just thatr Lindberg is from another planet! Lindberg's version is 2mins quicker, but, I can't hear it in the music. It must be the solo spaces, where Lindberg hits a few runs at double time, to Svoboda's regular time. Either way, this Troorkh is one funky piece of alien music! I dig it!

So, I went to Keren, the solo t-bone piece. There are 5 versions of this now, I think! I have Sluchin on Erato (he also recorded a version for Adda). Here also, Lindberg just makes you weep, when you compare him to other, 'great', trombonists. It just makes me shake my head! ??? And,... not that Sluchin's not good,...he is! BUT BUT BUT!!!



Dear BIS,
        Do you think you could cull all your Xenakis reecordings for a "Portrait of Xenakis" cd? Psappha, Keren, Troorkh, Dox-Orkh,... and,...your NEW recording of Zythos. How bout it, Svenska?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on May 07, 2010, 09:42:15 AM
Quote
(I've now had all three versions (the third, with the 'other' Xenakis vocalist, Philip Larson (it's an also ran)))
Triple parenthesis ftw.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 07, 2010, 11:02:36 PM
Triple parenthesis ftw.

It's me trademark! :P
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: tab on May 08, 2010, 08:38:40 AM
So, does anyone want to talk about Psappha? ;D

I do want to talk.  :) Live listening to this piece was the greatest musical experience in my life back in September, 2008. I'm very sensitive to music in general, but with Psappha my emotions always go all-in. Been sitting in front of those big metal plates near the end I thought I could die from all that awe running through me. I could barely move for several minutes after it.

Of course, that was the greatest physical experience, but the very structure of Psappha made it possible. It's even more evident in Rebonds.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on May 08, 2010, 09:50:07 AM
I do want to talk.  :) Live listening to this piece was the greatest musical experience in my life back in September, 2008. I'm very sensitive to music in general, but with Psappha my emotions always go all-in. Been sitting in front of those big metal plates near the end I thought I could die from all that awe running through me. I could barely move for several minutes after it.

tab - just curious, did you hear this in Moscow? I try to keep track of modernist & avant-garde concerts here, but I sometimes miss them. I've never heard any Xenakis live and I envy you for this.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: tab on May 08, 2010, 10:24:27 AM
tab - just curious, did you hear this in Moscow? I try to keep track of modernist & avant-garde concerts here, but I sometimes miss them. I've never heard any Xenakis live and I envy you for this.

Yes, I did. I can't remember any Xenakis in Moscow since 2009, but in 2006-2008 it was often performed by Pekarsky ensemble and Dmitry Schelkin in particular.

Here you can see him performing Rebonds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz5o40uy4lY
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on May 08, 2010, 10:50:31 AM
I do want to talk.  :) Live listening to this piece was the greatest musical experience in my life back in September, 2008. I'm very sensitive to music in general, but with Psappha my emotions always go all-in. Been sitting in front of those big metal plates near the end I thought I could die from all that awe running through me. I could barely move for several minutes after it.

Of course, that was the greatest physical experience, but the very structure of Psappha made it possible. It's even more evident in Rebonds.

Well, my best live musical experience with Xenakis was the premiere of Dämmerschein (in which I also got him to sign the programme notes ;)). If I were to choose one as the greatest of all, it would probably be Nono's Quando stanno morendo, which is absolutely breathtaking in concert (even more so than Prometeo).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on May 08, 2010, 11:18:09 AM
Yes, I did. I can't remember any Xenakis in Moscow since 2009, but in 2006-2008 it was often performed by Pekarsky ensemble and Dmitry Schelkin in particular.

Here you can see him performing Rebonds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz5o40uy4lY

Well, my best live musical experience with Xenakis was the premiere of Dämmerschein (in which I also got him to sign the programme notes ;)). If I were to choose one as the greatest of all, it would probably be Nono's Quando stanno morendo, which is absolutely breathtaking in concert (even more so than Prometeo).

Guys, thanks for these.  I've never seen Psappha (or Rebonds) performed, despite being lucky enough to hear a few other unexpected Xenakis evenings, like the opera Oresteia.  (And that said, not sure it's one of his best pieces.)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 09, 2010, 05:24:29 AM
Over the last week, I've dredged the net for any samples of Psappha. I was able to hear a few seconds of the Gualda (which didn't sound as boomy as had been expected) on some Japanese site.

I ended up ordering Peter Sadlo, on a Teldec disc called 'Drumming Together', the only solo percussion work on a cd which also includes Marimba Spiritual and Third Construction. From the sample, his sounds to be a very wood oriented reading.

Pedro Carneiro's recital (Psappha, Okho, Rebonds) seems to be getting the best reviews of all, though it certainly contains short measure. Why do I get the feeling I'll eventually end up with this one? ::) Schick's Mode reading has been getting very reticent reviews, saying, though his is the most perfect reading, it also is a touch polite, especially at the end, when, instead of metal plates, he only uses cowbell (I NEED MORE COWBELL!!!), as opposed to Mortenson (BIS), who uses a very noisy (and exciting) bell tree.

Markus Hauke's reading (on the Russian NMC? label) seems to be the overall quickest, at @10'30.

anyhow...



I saw Rebonds at a Baltimore church 15 years ago, at a time when hearing Xenakis' 'tom tom' piece (a drum solo, haha) was by no means going to impress me. I currently have Johan Faber, who, as per my needs, makes it through the piece without hitting the two drumsticks together! Robert McEwan on Mode doesn't.

I can't just listen to Rebonds without any context. Growing up in a world with too many tom toms, I have to be careful so as not to confuse it with just a good Peart solo (now now, you haters!). Though Psappha and Rebonds are thee altar for percussionists, sometimes, having to listen to drum solos can be taxing to those who merely listen. I play drums, but I still sometimes have trouble 'just' listening to tom toms. I love sounds.

Adam West Lives!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 09, 2010, 05:35:41 AM
Xas is turning into one of my fav later pieces. Currently, we have:

1) Rascher SQ on Caprice (the original from the '80s)

2) Rascher SQ on BIS ('Europe')

3) ST-X Ensemble on Mode

4) Habanera SQ on ??? ('Mysterious Morning')

5) a new version on some small label



I have the Mode, which I think is passable. I just ordered the Caprice. I heard a sample of the 'Europe' cd, and, wow!, here the Rascher are just so plastic, so cool. I ordered the Caprice, hoping the performance would be just as good, but, hoping that the discmates might be a bit more exciting. I admit that the 'Mysterious Morning' cd has some exciting discmates (Donatoni, Gubaidulina), but, when comparing them to the Rascher, there is no comparison (like Lindberg on t-bone).

Some say Xas is not a major Xenakis work, but, as with much 'solo' Xenakis, the work has become a standard. It is no doubt one of the major works of this hip grouping. I think it is one of the most perfectly realized alien musics, very cool and distant and strange.

Can anyone compare the two Rascher versions?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 09, 2010, 05:50:29 AM
I'm at the point where the only piece I really don't have is Gmeeorgh. I'm scared.



There is finally a recording, on Solstice. It promises to be $30. How long will I be able to hold out?

All I know is that it is one of his most forbidding works. I keep thinking it's going to sound like Bohor. Can anyone shed some light on this (without spoiling the ending, haha).



Well, it seems as though I've come to ends of the fruitful fields. I have poured over the available Xenakis recordings, and, yes, it's the same old faces, over and over again. I have what's out there, and, there is no where for a poor Xenakian to go. We still have some black holes:

1) the three choral/orchestral works (Cendrees, Anamoessa, Nekuia) remain in limbo (Cendrees is out there on YouTube)

2) Linea-Agon, for three brass, remains the most obscure X piece, with no recording,...or even a desription

3) Koiroanoi(?) remains the last big late work that Timpani didn't record. Sea-Change, his last orchestral work, is on some really obscure, Hellenic label (does anyone know that Greek website?), but, of course, should have been on Mode or Timpani.

4) Zythos, for t-bone & 6 percs. Why is this Lindberg/Kroumata piece still unrecorded?

5) Alax, Pour les Balienes, and other minor orchestral pieces seem like they will never see the light of day.



I wonder if we will ever see an all Xenakis cd from DG/Boulez? Why is he the one composer this label just doesn't seem interested in (except for Keqrops)?

ok, enough ranting for a Sunday morning!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on May 09, 2010, 05:58:05 AM
Wow, just Gmeeoorh?  :o

Here ya go:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoRgo5_kzgA

(doesn't start off like Bohor, anyway)

just rip the music from the video, and you have all of his recorded stuff! Congratulations!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on May 09, 2010, 06:56:22 AM
2) Linea-Agon, for three brass, remains the most obscure X piece, with no recording,...or even a desription

FYI, it's called Linaia-Agon, and it's a piece in the gaming theory/strategy vein like Duel and Stratégie. It's for horn, trombone and tuba, written for the London Bach Festival in 1972. The subject of the music is the contest of Linos (a celebrated musician), represented by the trombone, and Apollo (the god of music), represented by the tuba. The horn sides with the tuba.

Quoting from Harley:

The programmatic aspect of the music is emphasized by the inclusion of a passage where the characters are introduced and the challenge put forward by Linos to be accepted by Apollo, a Suspens du Destin section, to be played while the referee totals the score, and a final Chant de Victoire et Requiem. It is the most improvisatory score by Xenakis, showing traces of Stockhausen's "intuitive" music, where the performers are guided both by the directions in the score as well as the choices of the other performers.

There's an article about it here:
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a793740641

According to Harley, the author of the article also wrote a very detailed doctoral dissertation on it, a summary of which was published in 1985 in Interface.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 09, 2010, 06:21:49 PM
Wow, just Gmeeoorh?  :o

Here ya go:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoRgo5_kzgA

(doesn't start off like Bohor, anyway)

just rip the music from the video, and you have all of his recorded stuff! Congratulations!

ahhh, thank you,...I thought I'd just looked it up and couldn't find it,...maybe the extra "o", haha,...

anyhow, thanks for unearthing my old demo tape whilst on LSD! oy,...certainly, this doesn't take Bohor-ian patience to sit through, but it certainly didn't shoot up into my top3 X-tracks, haha. Honestly, the thing's got me bewildered. If you told me that it sucked, I'd be tempted to agree with you. If you told me it was a masterpiece,...mmm,...I'd have to l;isten to it again, haha!

I couldn't even form an opinion of this music, it was so,...so,...ugly,...and it definitely sounds electronic most of the time,...ugh, am I going to be listening to this non stop for months now?? ???

I definitely lump it in the Hibiki-Hana-Ma category, as far as how it hits my ears. Some musical interest, but mostly swirling, noisy tones and clusters.

I think there is a specified second player, to do the manuals? I believe I'm hearing the organ change sound as it's being played.

Honestly, I feel dirty,...feral, after listening to that. Some Xenakis, mostly the electronic stuff, seems so dirty to me, so viral and angry. I'm not sure what X's point was hear,... maybe simply to make the organ sound electronic.. I'm just shaking my head,...

oh, and you ask me, What were you expecting? Well, I guess I was the whole thing to sound like the last minute. So, technically, the piece is 1000 better than I had imagined. However, it's cumulative effect is the same. It sounds very much like improv to me (though, of course, there would have to be coordination between the two players).

ugh, I was so stoked when I saw your link, and I got all comfy,...and now I just feel,...wrong!! :-\ Wow, sometimes I resent Xenakis for making me feel this way, haha. I remember the first time I heard Bohor. It was at the Peabody library, and I had to listen remote, so that I was not near the cd, and the piece just went on,..on and on,...and on.



Anyhow,...whew, thanks agin. I'm sure I'll be wearing that link out.

Still shaking my head. I just want to say, Awful music, awful!! But,..I know I'm not allowed to do that, because, otherwise, God will turn it into my favorite piece, haha! :P ;D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 11, 2010, 05:27:20 AM
I just got this great great cd, 'Drum Together', by Peter Sadlo&Friends, on Teldec. At first, I passed it over because I thought it would contain Okho, but, lo, it is Psappha, amoungst other, percussion ensemble, pieces.

Sadlo clocks in at 13'59, which puts it in the 'longer version' category, like Schick/Mode, as opposed to, say, Mortenson (11'), or Hauke (10+'). Though he seems to start a touch slow, by the end, the tempo is perfectly justified. Some have said that the Schick may be the most 'perfect' version so far (as far as note placement), and, though I don't know, Sadlo appears to be exactly precise. The tempo allows for everything, without seeming rushed (which can be a drawback of the faster versions).

But, it is in the choice of instruments, and the recording, where your ears will really get a treat. ithout going into it, Sadlo's choice of instruments is beautiful, including a 'petrol can filled with screws'. For the ending, where Schick uses cowbells, and Mortenson a bell tree, Sadlo uses a pretty funky cowbell tree that has some real twang to it. As a matter of fact, Sadlo uses resonence and ephemera quite nicely. When compared to Schick's tight, air-dry, super fast YouTube video, Sadlo's recording comes out sounding symphonic.

oh, and there's no drum stick accident hits! I had to listen closely once, before I could enjoy it the second time, but, at the end, Sadlo had me on the edge of my seat. 'Is he going to hit all the notes?' Is he, is he?? He did!!

I do want to give kudos to the YouTube performer, who plays on a stage littered with instruments (he is part of some ensemble). He dispatches Psappha in 9'59!!, and, it is truly the perfect performance. At this speed, all the notes make perfect sense. Do give him a try (just punch up Psappha and start scrolling. The ensemble begins with an "i".).

I got this for $5 on Amazon. There's another , $8 copy, still there, if you want it. And, the other, ensemble pieces (including the ubiquitous Marimba Spiritual and Third Construction) are a cornucopia of percussion sounds. They say almost 200 instruments were used on this album.

This may be the single best cde of it's kind I have ever heard. Buy it Now!!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 11, 2010, 05:35:40 AM
ok, my least favorite Xenakis piece. I was just listening to the other percussion music, so I whipped out the old Arditti 'From France' cd (which has Okho on it??). I also have the ST-X/Mode recording.

The Montaigne version is the original, and everyone seems to like it better, but I listened carefully, and the Mode version has a lot more ephemeral djembe sounds coming out of the speaker. Around 7mins in, there is a rim solo, which is caught very nicely in the Mode version. Also, some of the tonal qualities of the djembe (able to produce ringy 'notes') come out better here. The Montaigne recording seems slightly muffled by comparison.

There are also versions by the Hague percussion group (Globe), and Pedro Carneiro (he takes a minute less than the rest). I thought there were more, but then I thought that every cd needed to have Okho on it. ::)

What do you think of this piece? I just don't even pay it any mind, but it sits there in the back of my craw, saying, 'I'm an avant piece for three djembes, I'm an avant piece for three djembe's'. ahhh ??? :-\

oh, and don't forget the bass drum!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 11, 2010, 05:37:34 AM
Do you know how I can get a copy of Les Percussions de Strasbourg's Philip's 2-cd set, which includes Taira, Mache, Dufourt, Xenakis,... yes!!, where is it?? I can't seem to find a site actually offering it.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 11, 2010, 05:40:18 AM
I was just listening to this on YouTube (from the old LP). I think this is my new fav piece. It just has so much of the Xenakis I like here, even with the wimpering dog sounds! Has ANYONE heard Anemoessa or Nekuia? Will I EVER hear these two?? Nekuia has 3 percussionists and 2 harpists!! NOW!! I want it NOOOOWWWWW!!! :P
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 11, 2010, 05:49:41 AM
Of course I got it! ::)

This was the missing link in the cd upgrade of old Xenakis LPs. There's nothing new, but I hadn't heard Atrees yet, and, I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't sound exactly like the other ST pieces. And, Polla ti Dhina is a fun little infants and orchestra piece.

Of course, most of these performances have been better over the last 40 years, so, this is mainly for nostalgia (yes, nostalgia over Xenakis!). But, along with the old ChantduMonde cd (Metastasis, Pithoprakta, Eonta), and the nifty RZ-Edition 2cd set, we have in 3 sets all the early Xenakis of note (also including that electronic disk).

Has anyone else gotten this one?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on May 11, 2010, 06:30:13 AM
Which electronic disc would that be? (I have all of his electroacoustic stuff)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on May 11, 2010, 09:58:08 AM
I was just listening to this on YouTube (from the old LP). I think this is my new fav piece. It just has so much of the Xenakis I like here, even with the wimpering dog sounds! Has ANYONE heard Anemoessa or Nekuia? Will I EVER hear these two?? Nekuia has 3 percussionists and 2 harpists!! NOW!! I want it NOOOOWWWWW!!! :P

I've heard a recording of Anemoessa in the late 90s at a conference by Harry Halbreich (Charles Bornstein was also presenting some other stuff). The vocal element did not attract me.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 12, 2010, 06:10:44 AM
Which electronic disc would that be? (I have all of his electroacoustic stuff)

The EMF disc with Bohor and the rest.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on May 12, 2010, 09:41:49 AM
The EMF disc with Bohor and the rest.
That one is one of my favorite Xenakis discs. Favorite pieces from there: Hibiki Hana Ma, Orient Occident, and Diamorphoses. I find Bohor to be okay, though kinda boring, and S.709 and Concret PH to be kinda annoying and stupid.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 15, 2010, 06:38:16 AM
ok, so I've got all the Xenakis cds now in front of me. I've gone through Amazon's 'Xenakis' list for a week straight, constantly saying, 'Got that one, got that one', to the point where I realize that I've come to the end of the line. And, if I don't haaave it,...I haaad it, at one time, and obviously don't feel like I'm missing anything.

So, the only question is whether the 'Complete' Xenakis will be available before the world wide economic collapse, after which I don't see too many all-Xenakis cds being made! ::)



Now I'm looking at these 30 odd cds and seeing what a confined little tiny space Xenakis takes up (but, hey, 30 cds isn't too bad,...Webern only gets 3!!). Do I know every note already? Is Xenakis boring to me now??

Thankfully, no. I've been listen this past week, and always (well, except for Okho, perhaps!) I am 'whelmed' by Xenakis' sheer creativity (not 'over' anymore, though,...I'm used to it).

Once again, I lament the fact that Xenakis' three largest works, the ones for chorus and orchestra, lie languishing in the dark, whilst Rebonds gets an umpteenth recording (yes, I know a drum set is cheaper than choruses and orchs). Nekuia, particularly, is a piece I just can't wait to hear. I has never been recorded.



btw- I think I have figured out what Mode's next installment is going to be:

Xenakis: Solos, Duos, & Trio for Strings

Mikka
Mikka s
Embellie
Nomos Alpha
Kottos
Ikhoor
Hunem-Iduhey
Roscobeck

I think that fits onto 80mins. Anyhow,...I'm counting on it.



btw PART II: I have written to Timpani, but have gotten no response, as to why their series has stopped. You are encouraged to shoot of an email.



Does ANYONE know where I can get that Percussions de Strasbourg 2cd Philips retrospec tive, with Persephassa on it? I finally heard a tiny snippet from the Demoe, on Stradivarius, and, from what I could hear, the acoustic is pretty tight, and I can't tell how clear and surgical the recording is. People have criticized the Mode version (the one with Dammerschein), and, I can hear how some detail might be getting lost in the ample recording space. Also, with the Mode (again, NOT RedFishBlueFish), perhaps because of the speed of playing, some detail gets lost to blurred playing. I can see why RFBF would overdub the last section. As it stands, the Carnegie Mellon (Mode) is 26'30, the Demoe is 27'+, and the RFBF is 28'. I am curious about the Percs de Strasbourg.



Yes, my Xenaddiction has been in full bloom lately!! :-*

MEDIC!! :P
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on May 15, 2010, 07:10:12 AM
ok, so I've got all the Xenakis cds now in front of me. I've gone through Amazon's 'Xenakis' list for a week straight, constantly saying, 'Got that one, got that one', to the point where I realize that I've come to the end of the line. And, if I don't haaave it,...I haaad it, at one time, and obviously don't feel like I'm missing anything.
(...)
Now I'm looking at these 30 odd cds and seeing what a confined little tiny space Xenakis takes up (but, hey, 30 cds isn't too bad,...Webern only gets 3!!). Do I know every note already? Is Xenakis boring to me now??

Do you have a list of the 30? Just wondering what I might be missing, my collection amounting to a little over 20 or so--sometimes I do get into bouts of completist-ness, although lately it's been with Stockhausen and only because I've had all of the first tier works for at least a decade and have been looking for other potential gems, and the same applies to Xenakis.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on May 15, 2010, 07:47:29 AM
I'd be interested in seeing a list, too.

I guess the good thing is, even though collecting all of Xenakis' recorded works isn't easy, at least you're not like me, collecting all of Prokofiev's recorded works  ;) (and I'm getting pretty close).  8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 16, 2010, 06:31:00 AM
I'd be interested in seeing a list, too.

I guess the good thing is, even though collecting all of Xenakis' recorded works isn't easy, at least you're not like me, collecting all of Prokofiev's recorded works  ;) (and I'm getting pretty close).  8)
Do you have a list of the 30? Just wondering what I might be missing, my collection amounting to a little over 20 or so--sometimes I do get into bouts of completist-ness, although lately it's been with Stockhausen and only because I've had all of the first tier works for at least a decade and have been looking for other potential gems, and the same applies to Xenakis.


XENAKIS: by snyprrr

DG w/Kekrops

Timpani Vols. 1-4 (though, not #5 (the only 'new' piece on that was Hiketides)

Col Legno w/Anastenaria, Troorkh, Ais

Mode w/Dammerschein, la D. Athena, Persephassa

Col Legno 'orchestral works & chamber music'

Etcetera Kraanerg

RZ-Edition Xenakis 2cd

new EMI 2cd

ChantduMonde Metastasis, Pithoprakta, Eonta

Salabert Orestia

EMF electronic music



Accord- Oophaa
Wergo w/Palimpsest, Epei, Dikthas, Akanthos
Mode JACK Quartet
Mode 'Music for Strings'
Arditti/Montaigne 2cd 'musique de chambre' (SQs +)

Roscobeck- Simax/Dan Styffe
Hunem-Iduhey- EMI/Edna Michell 'Compassion'

Okho- Montaigne/Arditti

Erato/Boulez/harpsichord 2cd 'Ultima'

Psappha- Sadlo/Teldec

Dmaathen- Glaetzer/Berlin

Khall-Perr- Wallace Collection/Linn

Pleiades- les P des S/Denon (w/Ishii,... better recording than Harmonia M)

Retours-Windungen- Conjunto Iberico/Channel

Tetras- 'Arditti One'



Xenakis 'Live in New York' (Kai, Kuilenn)

Mode 'Ensemble Music Vol.1'
Mode 'Ensemble Music Vol.2'

BVHAAST:

1) Xenakis Ensemble- Akea, Rebonds, Epicycles
2) Xenakis Ensemble- O-Mega
3) Ensemble Phorminx- Plekto



I'd like to get the 'Nuits' that's on Arion (the original version that I like best). That one's real tough to get.

I did actually find that there is a 1986 LP (Erato?) that has the current ColLegno 'Ais' on it, as well as 'Nekuia' (both by Tabachnik), so, hopefully, we may see 'Cendrees' (Erato LP) and 'Nekuia' on the next ColLegno/Xenakis disc. I'm also pretty sure that there is an 'Anamoessa' recording somewhere in tape form (didn't Petrarch,...sorry, I want to call you 'Pet Rock', haha,... didn't someone say they heard a recording of that?). So, come on Col Legno, you can do it!!



Anyhow, I think that's the list. As you can see, it's just the same old usual suspects. There really isn't any Xenakis 'completist' typoe collecting. Everything is so scattershot and piecemeal, that one just feels compelled to get everything available (barring the umpteenth version of 'Rebonds', of course, haha). I mean, we really don't have THAT far to go: just that choral/orch disc, and a few other stragglers, and we've got the whole pie.

Even his last orch work, 'Sea-Change', is on some strange Greek label (Lyra??). See if you can find it,...pleeeeeze. I have figured out that it's on an album with:

Xenakis- Sea-Change
Psatha- Luminoso
Adamis- Restless Geology
Plakidis- Glance Back
Lapidakis- Route E-15



I used to have:

Dox-Orkh- BIS/Arditti
La Legende de Eer- Montaigne
Mycenae Alpha- NUEMA
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on May 16, 2010, 07:04:23 AM
Hmmm what about:
- Persepolis (have that on the original Fractal, and the newer Persepolis + remixes)
- The Neuma with Gendy3, Thallein, Tauriphanie
- There's another Fractal with Pour la paix and Voyage des Unari vers Andromede
- The passably interesting Music for Keyboard instruments on Neos (interesting to compare with the piano music on the Chamber Music CD on Montaigne)

I think my favourite CDs still are (you have/had all of them) the Montaigne Chamber Music 1955-1990 double CD, the double CD on Edition RZ with Syrmos, Terretektorh, Nomos Gamma and others and the Montaigne La Légende d'Eer. I could never get rid of any of these.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 16, 2010, 07:35:53 AM
I guess my main thing with the state of X's recorded legacy is that... it is what it is. What we have is what we have.

Nevermind that Ligeti gets to have a DG box,... and grumbles like that aside, X seems to have, usually, one,...one,... one single, dubiously classic, recording, like how I just happened to find that LP of 'Nekuia', athough it shows up in NONE of the Xenakis sites, or discographies. I know that I have seen a radio broadcast, or something, somewhere, concerning 'Anemoessa', but, this too shows up in none of the official tallies.

It tickles me, thinking all nostalgic about that Montaigne/Arditti 2cd set from 1991. Am I not sure that every single person on this thread has that one? Wasn't that THE set that plunged us all even further? I mean, please don't argue this point. Before that set, WHAT big slab of X had anyone really heard?

Anyhow, my point is that now, we live in a post-Timpani series world, and a post-Mode series world. Certainly,...most certainly, that Timpani series was the greatest thing to happen to 'us' since that Arditti set (though, I WILL give Bornstein his credit ::)), but, the prospect that they 'finish' before they have capped off their series with the crowning jewel ('Cendrees', 'Anemoessa', 'Nekuia') is certainly a setback, unless of course, ColLegno culls the premieres of those three works on a new cd (which could happen).

Everytime I see a brand new cd with a brand new X work on it, my whole world goes bibble tibble. I look at it, going oooh & aaah, and then I do the equivalent of victory dance before I cozy up to,... uh, usually another disappointment. :-[ Do you remember the first time you heard 'Xenakis: Live in New York'. Yikes! ??? Is that the worst recorded album of all time, or what? And now, that album is indispensible for 'Kai' & 'Kuilenn', two pieces that probably won't ever make any sense unless they have  a better presentation (I just can't hear ANY detail here. You practically have to turn the stereo all the way up >:D).

80% of my posts on this thread are rants against the very people who are trying to expose me to more of X. Go figure. I don't give blue ribbons to also rans.

Perhaps I will attempt to contact BIS and ColLegno, seeing I can't get a response from Timpani.



ok, I'm sure you all are getting tired of me padding this thread with nothing particular. :-* Call your congressman! :P
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Luke on May 16, 2010, 10:02:15 AM

I'd like to get the 'Nuits' that's on Arion (the original version that I like best). That one's real tough to get.


I think I still have my copy (coupled with Messiaen, right?). PM me..........
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Luke on May 16, 2010, 10:35:10 AM
Yes, to confirm, I do - I have it here in my sweaty little paws
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 16, 2010, 11:27:12 AM
Yes, to confirm, I do - I have it here in my sweaty little paws

drooling :P
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Luke on May 16, 2010, 11:29:28 AM
Over the CD, I hope, not the paws..........
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 16, 2010, 11:34:48 AM
ok, I've found them all, haha!!

'Cendrees' is on the Erato LP that is now on YouTube.

'Anemoessa' is on the 5cd "50 Years of the Holland Festival". This is the premiere with Dufallo.

'Nekuia' is on an Erato(?) LP, with 'N'Shima' (doesn't seem to be the version on the ColLegno "orchestral works & chamber music"), and 'Ais' (this IS the version that made its way to cd, with 'Anatenaria' and 'Troorkh').



So, all things are possible, but not probable!

The 'Holland Festival' is @$50,... do you want to dare me to get it for just one 11min piece?? Am I that far gone? ??? oh, when will the madness end?

I have a feeling I'll be writing ColLegno (I just wrote Globe).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 16, 2010, 11:42:06 AM
Hmmm what about:
- Persepolis (have that on the original Fractal, and the newer Persepolis + remixes)
- The Neuma with Gendy3, Thallein, Tauriphanie
- There's another Fractal with Pour la paix and Voyage des Unari vers Andromede
- The passably interesting Music for Keyboard instruments on Neos (interesting to compare with the piano music on the Chamber Music CD on Montaigne)

I think my favourite CDs still are (you have/had all of them) the Montaigne Chamber Music 1955-1990 double CD, the double CD on Edition RZ with Syrmos, Terretektorh, Nomos Gamma and others and the Montaigne La Légende d'Eer. I could never get rid of any of these.

Persepolis IS also on the RZ-Editions. I have yet to make it through that!!

I did also have that Neuma with Gendy3. X's electronic stuff just really wears on me.

I made it through a few minutes of Pour la Paix on YouTube, but, it's just to 'French' for me. The Voyage Absolu is also on one of those 'New Perspectives' cds (forget the label). That may be my fav X electronic piece.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on May 16, 2010, 05:08:47 PM
I made it through a few minutes of Pour la Paix on YouTube, but, it's just to 'French' for me.
I understand... to me, it sucks when there are long monologues in a language I don't understand.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 22, 2010, 05:41:41 AM
I'm sure everyone here has the Mode cd 'Ensemble Pieces 1' (ST-X Ensemble), which has the World Premiere of X's sextet, Plekto. Based on that recording, I found a piece that appeared to be an hommage to Messiaen, very block-like, and tonal in that Mesiaen-like way.

The problem was that the recording itself was pretty claustrophobic, the piano sounded pretty clunky, and the percussionist,...oy, the percussionist,... well, IMHO, he is flubbing all over the place here. Add on to this the fact that the piece, according to Xenakis lists, is supposed to be 14mins, and that the recording clocks in at,...8mins!!, and we have the beginnings of much head scratching.

I just couldn't figure this piece out. It just seemed like such a sad, defeated 'old man writing nicer music' type feel to it, but had some moments of the most beauty one is likely to find in Xenakis (listen in the middle, tonal, section). I became very frustrated.

In the Xenakis lists, there is some 'in house' type of recording that has Plekto on it, but, I was surfing Amazon, and found this BVHAAST cd by the Ensemble Phorminx (EPh). It was about $40 on Amazon, but then I found this BVHAAST sale (5 EUs), so, yesterday I finally was able to make the compare.

Wow! Especially with Xenakis, if you play the piece quicker or slower, you can get some strange things to happen. Well, this EPh version clocks in at 13'30, as opposed to the ST-X 8'10. Wow, for Xenakis that's a huuuge difference. And... and... and YES!, this EP version IS DA BOMB!! It's almost a completely different piece of music. WShereas the ST-X version sounds like a scrappy little chamber work, the EPh version sounds positively symphonic (fl, cl, pf, prc, vln, vnc), which, for a tiny sextet of this makeup, seems like quite an achievement.

The piano still sounds strangely boxy here, but then I listened a little closer, and in fact, it is the music. The piano is the instrument which delivers most of the bite in this piece (though, none of the usual Xenakis/piano fireworks). The percussion however, in this piece, haha, is just really night and day from the ST-X. In the Eph version, it really sounds like typical Xenakis percussion, with the halting and ricocheting. It's really quite unbelieveable hearing the difference between these two percussionists. Truly this difference makes for almost two different pieces.

Also, in this newer EPh version, I'm hearing string glissandos at the end where I didn't hear them in the ST-X version. As a matter of fact, there is so much more detail caught here that I really do feel like I'm hearing a brand new X piece. The slower (and I gather, more correct) tempo makes all the difference, though, when I compared, the much faster ST-X version had a few felicities of its own, such as how that tonal section comes off sounding more 'right' at the faster tempo.

Which brings up an interesting observation. Some of the sections sound more right played fast, whilst others sound better slower, showing up the geometry of Xenakis' music, where, depending on the tempo, accents will either fall here, or, there. The downbeat of the two versions seems to change.



Well, I want to say to all you out there who, like me, have scratched your heads over this Mode/ST-X Plekto, for over a decade!, that this piece really doesn't suck (if that's what your conclusion has been), and that Plekto truly is a worthy successor to works like Jalons and Waarg. The almost orchestral/symphonic dimensions of this BVHAAST version reveal a superbly diaphonous piece of splintered late music.

You guys, check out that BVHAAST Sale. There's some really cool stuff, and also some rare Xenakis (such as O-Mega, and this). I am so glad that this piece has been saved from the interpretive trashheap, and it just feels so good to feel like I have a brand new X piece to pour over.

Awesome! ;D 8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 28, 2010, 08:05:57 AM
Dutiful slave that I am, I ordered both of the Aki Takahashi/Mode discs of piano music.

I was listening to as many samples on Amazon as I could find, and, whether or not Marc Ponthus (Neuma) is as good as Ms.(?) Takahashi (which he may well sound to be), his recording seems a bit less clinical than the Mode (which, IS clinical to a degree, the way I need this music). Ms. Takahashi just seems to convey the math better than anyone out there: isn't this now the most inevitable Xenakis cd on the market? (I had it as a promo when it came out, but settled for the Helffer/Arditti set when I needed money; now, I find I neeeeeed the Takahashi to satisky my heightened sense of Xenakis performance standards)

Do you agree that Helffer just misses that last ounce of transcendence in the the most hair raising passages, sounding human where the music demands godliness? Does the music require a better performance than Ms. Takahashi's, or, IS she THEE conduit (I think maybe,... unless some eight year old out there is waiting in the wings (probably))? I wasn't convinced by the cd of electronic realizations (except that Herma really came across nicely, the spacial element perfectly realized).

Helffer has an alternative version of Mists (Accord), which, to my ears, sounds a little more assured than the Montaigne set. I could be wrong here and in need of further study. There is also a version by Klara Kormendi (Hungaroton), which has been around forever (I'll see if the library still has it).

There are a few other recordings of Evryali (a Japanese lady, a cd called 'Decoding Skin, I think one or two more), but the Amazon samples weren't cued to crucial spots, so I couldn't tell any detail. The Japanese lady, however, had a pretty reverberant acoustic, which doesn't always serve this music.



I am so at the end of collecting Xenakis that I'm feeling a bit depressed :'(. All there is to do now is to wait for the few remaining stragglers to make it to disc, which, judging by history, might be like Waiting for Godot, so, now perhaps is the time to begin doing a thorough re-evalution of Xenakis' art. I feel his stature will only grow.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 02, 2010, 07:44:53 AM
I've heard a recording of Anemoessa in the late 90s at a conference by Harry Halbreich (Charles Bornstein was also presenting some other stuff). The vocal element did not attract me.

The 'Dutch Miracle' 6cd boxset, wherein resides one of the most unlikely Xenakis recordings, has arrived! I spent $40 on 13mins of music, and, in memoriam of my common sense (!), I am going to share my cherry listen with you (awww :-*).

Ais (1980) comes right after Anemoessa (1979), so I have that on hand to compare. Though I listened to (hmmm,...'heard') Ais recently, I have trouble remembering anything particular about the music itself, except for the percussion solo, of course.

Anemoessa is given as the horrible translation, Filled with Wind (from the Greek anemos (wind), where, I assume, we get the word 'animated'), which, if anyone out there has some braincells working this morning, could certainly be rendered with more poetics, I'm sure!

Looking over the formal outline of the piece, the first thing I notice is that the percussion is limited to two bits in the middle, so, I know at least not to expect what recently I have grown accustomed to, namely, Xenakis' percussion style. The rest of the music doesn't readily reveal itself.

ok ok,...enough BS.

I settle in...the cd goes in the machine,...and,...and...



ANEMOESSA (Filled with Wind; 12:54) for chorus and orchestra
Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Chorus of the Netherlands Radio
Richard Dufallo (16 June, 1979)

 :o :o :o

WOW! PetrArch, I don't know what it was that you didn't like about this, but WOW!, the piece starts off in, I'm going to say, stunning! fashion, with low, growling strings, and what sounds like the 'ah' of a Gregorian Chant. And then, cosmic mystery begins to build, something like Kekrops-meets-Echange, two of the composer's darkest sounding works.

I'm now 4mins in. There's a break. So far, the choral contribution has been of the vocalise siren songs, with only phonemes (ohs, and ahs), very much the inheritor of all 'sailors on the rocks' type mythic choruses.

7mins. So far, I'm so bowled over by this uber dramatic music, that I cannot think clearly. I can only experience this force of nature. I feel like I'm on the shores of mythic cliffs overlooking the primal ocean, with the music and chorus waving in the wind (ah, there it is!), a la Jonchaies (but much more mysteriously).

11mins. Another tiny break. The brass plugs and spurts along, very menacing amoungst the Xenakis literature. The chorus intones bell-like, church-like sonorities. In the midst of all the confusion, the piece ends peacefully, just whzzzzzzzz, and it's over, and there's a half minute of applause (the recording is not, perhaps, the last word in absolute clarity, but I trust that further listens will reveal more detail. It's more than serviceable.).



So, wow! That was some of the most awesome 12.5mins. of Xenakis I've heard. I know most of you haven't heard this yet (hey, the box is out there for @$50! >:D), but, as a closet sceptic, I am truly surprised and enlightened. I can't believe that this most communicative work hasn't been the one put forth as the best example of Xenakis' art. From the notes:

"The composer wrote in the programme amoungst much else that 'In this piece I have brought about a type of music-making for chorus and orchestra that resembles a camoflage or excavation process (...) In one sense it can be compared to steering a boat between reefs that suddenly appear and must be visible to be avoided! (...) The voices are used as instruments and often play an important part. As a text I have used simple and obvious groups of letters, vowels without any meaning. The music is more important than the words.'"

I maintain that there are no words, haha! It's siren-music. Anyway, I listen again.



LISTEN #2:

The most impressive, the most elemental Xenakis. I don't know what PetrArch didn't like, but I am mightily impressive with the choral writing here: I believe it's his most impressive choral work. For much of the time, the chorus acts like true Xenakis electronic music, where each voice is truly independent. It's a shame the recording isn't better. I'm sure that if I turned it up to 11 though (!) :-*.

This truly shifts my perception of Xenakis. I am stunned by the utter originality of the piece. Though all the Xenakis hallmarks are there, they are put together here in such a way that is so utterly visual, that the 'wind' of the title simply jumps out at you. It's the 'duh' factor, haha!

I want to compare this to Dallapicolla's Question with Two Answers. Seldom do I really get that ancient, granitic feeling in modern music. Chavez's(?) Symphony No.1 (Sinfonia India) is an example. I'm fumbling here, haha!

Well, longwinded gasbag that I am, I declare once again that this is the shizzle! I will need time here to recover. Wow! ??? 8)




Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 02, 2010, 07:53:55 AM
Filled with Wind...and not only the piece  ;D

Seriously, Snyprrr...thanks for the review. Almost makes me want to spend 50 bucks.

Sarge
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on June 02, 2010, 08:00:13 AM
The most impressive, the most elemental Xenakis. I don't know what PetrArch didn't like, but I am mightily impressive with the choral writing here: I believe it's his most impressive choral work.

To be honest, I don't recall much of it myself :). It might have been due to what was presented was an analysis of the work, a succession of fragments and no cohesive narrative of the "whole". To give you some perspective, I am very picky about modern music for or with voices and usually don't like it (but there are exceptions, like Berio's Sinfonia, Ligeti's Lux Aeterna or Scelsi's Uaxuctum, to name just a few).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on June 02, 2010, 08:05:21 AM
As an aside, I can vouch for the quality of that box: it's excellent.  (And I've not heard the Xenakis on it yet!  :-[)  Among the treasures: two versions of Webern's Five Pieces for Orchestra with the Concertgebouw--one with Boulez conducting, the other with Giulini. 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Years-Holland-Festival-Anton-Webern/dp/B000026GDE

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on June 02, 2010, 02:03:19 PM
Good to know there's some Xenakis collectors out there, not to mention some hardcore enough to pay $50 just to hear a single work!  :D

(glad it was worth it for you, snyprrr)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 03, 2010, 02:57:31 PM
To be honest, I don't recall much of it myself :). It might have been due to what was presented was an analysis of the work, a succession of fragments and no cohesive narrative of the "whole". To give you some perspective, I am very picky about modern music for or with voices and usually don't like it (but there are exceptions, like Berio's Sinfonia, Ligeti's Lux Aeterna or Scelsi's Uaxuctum, to name just a few).
As an aside, I can vouch for the quality of that box: it's excellent.  (And I've not heard the Xenakis on it yet!  :-[)  Among the treasures: two versions of Webern's Five Pieces for Orchestra with the Concertgebouw--one with Boulez conducting, the other with Giulini. 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Years-Holland-Festival-Anton-Webern/dp/B000026GDE

--Bruce
Good to know there's some Xenakis collectors out there, not to mention some hardcore enough to pay $50 just to hear a single work!  :D

(glad it was worth it for you, snyprrr)
Filled with Wind...and not only the piece  ;D

Seriously, Snyprrr...thanks for the review. Almost makes me want to spend 50 bucks.

Sarge

Glad to be of service!

As to PetrArch's taste in Avant Vocal,... the thing that struck me hear is that I was all ready to hear the usual barking and yelping, but the vocals sound very much like Ligeti here, totally integrated into the texture. I'm as picky as you are, in this regard (and, does anyone really 'like' Xenakis vocals?,... Mel Torme they're not, haha!), and so I can heartily recommend this one to you all. It's the most Beethovenian Xenakis I've heard. As good, or better, than Jonchaies.

You know that DG disc 'Wein Modern', the first one, with Rihm, Nono, Ligeti, and Boulez? This would have been the highlight of that disc!

btw- the 'wind' theme has come out around me in the last 48hrs. like gangbusters, haha,... every form of wind imaginable, haha! including this awesome thunderstorm!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 05, 2010, 11:04:43 AM
I couldn't wait to again hear that first Aki/MODE disc (1999), which I originally got as a promo at Tower (huge saw blade to the spine! :( >:( >:D). As I'm playing it, however, I seem to notice something that I just don't recall from before. Then I notice that this is a 2006 reissue with 96/24-bit remastering. Now, my question is, does anyone have the original issue of this, and can you say if the mastering/recording renders the entire image a bit on the hard side?

Though Takahashi playing is mindboggling, and though the recording really is pretty choice, there seems to be something extra that I can only chalk up to the new remastering (I feel like I'm going to haaave to find an original issue (without the cut-out)). Has anyone else who has this reissue noticed the particularly hard surface image? I think I particularly notice some spatial effects in Palimpsest that I'm not sure were there before (the whole ensemble is pretty spectacularly spaced across the whole left/right/back/forth continuum. Anyhow, just wondering if that's what I'm hearing.

The only other real problem I ever had with this disc, and I paid special attention last night, is the three percussion flubs that I do declare that I hear, and, I am sorry, but I do not accept any percussion flubs in my Xenakis! Three times I hear (and I think I mentioned it in an earlier post) a drumstick hit that sounds absolutely like an accident (which I don't hear on the Wergo version). Anyhow, I just can't handle even to perceive that there could be a mistake in Xenakis: the music is too precise to make a mistake, no?

Of course, other than that, the 2cds are pretty jawdropping from a pianistic point of view. Ms. Takahashi is really just a monster here, overpowering anyone foolish enough to play with her (except, perhaps, for the really unbelievable performance by Rohan de Saram in Paille in the Wind(triple stops ?????)). I can only recall how all too human Claude Helffer can sound at times (can't wait to compare).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 07, 2010, 05:32:42 PM
Got this one yesterday.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2BhLDHvxCL._SS500_.jpg)

At last a good-sounding recording of Eonta, along with some works I didn't yet have (Morsima-Amorsima and Paille in the Wind). I can finally put to rest the old Chants du Monde recording of Metastaseis, Pithoprakta and Eonta.

My original response to this was,...what? another Eonta? Well, I finally listened to it, and wow!, that is some spectacular brass playing!  There is so much detail in this recording that I think I actually listened to this piece for a change! I used to just think of this as a piano & brass piece, but these artists really make it a 'Being'. The recording is just spectacular, too.

I count

1) Chant du Monde
2) Mode I
3) Mode II
4) some French cd, w/Bouchard?
5) Teldec-London Brass*
6) ASKO Ens/Attacca

at least six recordings. This one's got to be in a class by itself. I wish I still had that Teldec to compare, but the original makes a good enough comparison (though, there is no mystery here, as in the new cd). So, wow, I'm finally a fan of Eonta after all these years, haha.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: not edward on June 08, 2010, 04:39:07 AM
4) some French cd, w/Bouchard?
Canadian, actually. (There's some bloody good musicmaking coming out of Montreal...and of course I'm stuck in Toronto. Boo.)

I picked up the EMI reissue of some old Xenakis recordings:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514N7DCQX2L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Though it fills some gaps, it's a reminder too how much performance standards in technically demanding new music have risen in the last generation or two.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 08, 2010, 05:11:22 PM
Canadian, actually. (There's some bloody good musicmaking coming out of Montreal...and of course I'm stuck in Toronto. Boo.)

I picked up the EMI reissue of some old Xenakis recordings:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514N7DCQX2L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Though it fills some gaps, it's a reminder too how much performance standards in technically demanding new music have risen in the last generation or two.

y'know, i was thinking the same thing, but listen again to Pludermacher's Herma. There's a feral, fist-full-of-notes approach here that is missing from the more I-can-play-anything crowd. However, in the brass playing, standards have certainly been surpassed. The Timpani version of Akrata is so fleet compared to the EMI. But, I do like the haplessness of some of these first recordings of post war music: you can really feel the danger.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: mjwal on June 09, 2010, 07:36:16 AM
Quote
The 'Dutch Miracle' 6cd boxset, wherein resides one of the most unlikely Xenakis recordings, has arrived! I spent $40 on 13mins of music
I love this too - and only got it off the shelf when I read your enthusiastic piece and realised I had that lovely magic  Dutch dip, which I bought for a couple of euros a decade ago. I must have been dozing first time round - I often play things to check and don't get back to them till later. By the way, Dufallo conducted the world premiere of Anemoessa, he says so in his interview with Xenakis, it must have been that one as X says (Nov '86): "Anemoessa was not performed again. That was the only performance. Maybe it is bad music." RD: "I don't think so myself." (My favourite book on modern music: Trackings - Composers speak with Richard Dufallo p.181).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 09, 2010, 11:09:41 AM
By the way, Dufallo conducted the world premiere of Anemoessa, he says so in his interview with Xenakis, it must have been that one as X says (Nov '86): "Anemoessa was not performed again. That was the only performance. Maybe it is bad music." RD: "I don't think so myself." (My favourite book on modern music: Trackings - Composers speak with Richard Dufallo p.181).

I believe the notes say that the piece was played twice at two All-Xenakis-Nights, presumably the night of this recording, and the next one.

Thanks for that very poignant bit of info. Perhaps the same also applies to Nekuia, and hopefully that particular Erato/Tabachnik LP performance will make it to cd (along with Cendrees,...please!:-*)).

Glad to have a witness! (didn't bhodges say he had it? a critique?)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on June 09, 2010, 11:30:56 AM
I believe the notes say that the piece was played twice at two All-Xenakis-Nights, presumably the night of this recording, and the next one.

Thanks for that very poignant bit of info. Perhaps the same also applies to Nekuia, and hopefully that particular Erato/Tabachnik LP performance will make it to cd (along with Cendrees,...please!:-*)).

Glad to have a witness! (didn't bhodges say he had it? a critique?)

Are you referring to the Holland Festival box?  Yes, I have it, but haven't listened to that Xenakis yet--perhaps in the next few days!  I actually got the box before I was listening to much Xenakis, so the performance wasn't really on my radar.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on June 09, 2010, 11:36:21 AM
It is always good to watch these works being performed. Courtesy of another thread in this forum, here's Synaphai:

http://www.youtube.com/v/9pBMxp8EJFA

http://www.youtube.com/v/L6YpYKPcEBQ


Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 13, 2010, 06:53:47 AM
Choral Works (Hyperion)

Remember when this came out, and it was like, wooo, a major label doing Xenakis! :o But then, I was not fully prepared to enjoy it. I just bought it again (dutiful slave that I am!), and, I am mightily impressed.

Except for a Nuits that's just too fast (it's just too fast, y'all; the Arion version is bible IMHO), the rest of the album mines about 85% of Xenakis's choral works. As I remembered, these pieces were is Xenakis's 'Greek' style, and, at the time, I just wasn't having it; but, now, having the scales lifted from mine ears. I am prepared to liberally throw the word 'nasterpiece' around.

Knephas (1990) still sounds like a giant golden rug to me. I was kinda iffy about this piece, but, at least now I can enjoy listening to it. There doesn't seem to be much variety, which is what gives this piece the giant-golden-rug feel, but, sonically, I enjoy the sensation of the voices, as 'panels', dropping through time. Perhaps someone else has better poetics! ::)

Medea (1967), the longest piece, includes ensemble. This comes from the '60s, so, it's very primal/ancient, and I'm glad to be reaquainted. This definitely fits in with the other great works from the late '60s. I think it is the,... oh, what is it?,.... contra-bassoon, or bass trombone, or whatever the low instrument is (don't have the cd handy),... Xenakis loves to use the lowest register, and the effect (like in Akrata) is droolingly delicious.

A Colone (1977), with a very big sounding trio, is the first place, I think, where I hear Xenakis's use of modal melodies (always sounding like ancient fanfares with fifths), the kind which show up later in works such as Tetora. A perfect little piece @5mins. The same goes for the a cappella Serment (1981), which is much more in the vein of Nuits than I had remembered.

Again, Nuits is just too fast here, at @9mins (whereas the Arion version seems just right at 10mins). The evocative middle section loses some of it's mystery, I think. I simply will only ever care about the Arion disc. Had this version match that, this disc would have been even greater, but, never mind: as it stands, this is without a doubt one of the all-time classic Xenakis discs, which, at the time, did more to promote his music than anything up until that point, I believe.

Great disc! 8)

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 15, 2010, 10:33:37 AM
ahhh, thank you,...I thought I'd just looked it up and couldn't find it,...maybe the extra "o", haha,...

anyhow, thanks for unearthing my old demo tape whilst on LSD! oy,...certainly, this doesn't take Bohor-ian patience to sit through, but it certainly didn't shoot up into my top3 X-tracks, haha. Honestly, the thing's got me bewildered. If you told me that it sucked, I'd be tempted to agree with you. If you told me it was a masterpiece,...mmm,...I'd have to l;isten to it again, haha!

I couldn't even form an opinion of this music, it was so,...so,...ugly,...and it definitely sounds electronic most of the time,...ugh, am I going to be listening to this non stop for months now?? ???

I definitely lump it in the Hibiki-Hana-Ma category, as far as how it hits my ears. Some musical interest, but mostly swirling, noisy tones and clusters.

I think there is a specified second player, to do the manuals? I believe I'm hearing the organ change sound as it's being played.

Honestly, I feel dirty,...feral, after listening to that. Some Xenakis, mostly the electronic stuff, seems so dirty to me, so viral and angry. I'm not sure what X's point was hear,... maybe simply to make the organ sound electronic.. I'm just shaking my head,...

oh, and you ask me, What were you expecting? Well, I guess I was the whole thing to sound like the last minute. So, technically, the piece is 1000 better than I had imagined. However, it's cumulative effect is the same. It sounds very much like improv to me (though, of course, there would have to be coordination between the two players).

ugh, I was so stoked when I saw your link, and I got all comfy,...and now I just feel,...wrong!! :-\ Wow, sometimes I resent Xenakis for making me feel this way, haha. I remember the first time I heard Bohor. It was at the Peabody library, and I had to listen remote, so that I was not near the cd, and the piece just went on,..on and on,...and on.



Anyhow,...whew, thanks agin. I'm sure I'll be wearing that link out.

Still shaking my head. I just want to say, Awful music, awful!! But,..I know I'm not allowed to do that, because, otherwise, God will turn it into my favorite piece, haha! :P ;D

ok, so, of course I plunk'd down the $27 :o for the cd, which I broke in on the way over here, in the rain. Well, the car stereo (and the storm) certainly left a greater impression than listening to the YouTube computer speakers. Wow!, this is some speaker damaging stuff!

The recording actually does come from 1980, so, I guess this really is the long lost, hidden recording that no one has ever made mention of. The recording itself is much more spectacular than the YouTube speakers let on. I couldn't tell if I was having car trouble, or if that was that Notre Dame sub bass! ;D

If anyone wasn't too impressed with the YouTube, then you'll really just have to get the cd. It leaves a totally different impression, though it's the same performance. And, the rest of the cd (pieces by Chaynes and Chapelet) is equally spectacular sounding. Great, post-Messiaen organ!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on June 15, 2010, 12:43:38 PM
So... you are possibly starting to like it?  ;)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 21, 2010, 07:30:48 PM
Xenakis: Idmen, Pleiades (Erato; 1992):



Yea, this is the one that cost me $55! :o Idmen A/B(1985) are two of Xenakis's rarest works, and yet I certainly assumed I knew what this double piece for choir and six percussionists would sound like. This particularly rare Erato disc also includes one of the five recordings we now have of Pleiades, here played by an all female group taking the name of the work.

As far as pieces for percussion and choir by Xenakis go, this thing probably could have gone two ways, but, as I in anticipation heard the first measures, I knew right away that this was going to be a special Xenakis experience. The voices are orchestrally instrumental throughout, and are put through the most rigorously beautiful treatment, hitting all the Xenakis signposts that were prevalent in the mid '80s.

The three 'A' piece have voices dominating, the three 'B' pieces, the percs; however, within each piece there are two distinct pieces, so, there is a huge amount of variety for such a restricted instrumentation. When the voices are dominating, the percs usually play in X's xylo-mellow-marimba mode, and in the other three, the percs blissfully regale us with classic Pleiadean excess.

The choral writing brings together so much, that the piece literally takes on life as a strange, otherworldly symphony for space organ and percussion. The piece 'A-2' is the most beautiful realization of X's famous pelog scale (heard at the beginning of Jonchaies). It aaalmost sounds like Arvo Part, haha! :o The Pacific musical mode, with the gamelan like quality of six percs, makes this X's most tropical score so far. This really is so much more than I had ever given X credit for bringing forth. Here is a place where he totally blew away my bigotry. And, at 30mins, it appears to be one of X's most substantial works. Honestly, this piece was worth the money. I'm glad it was this piece.



I have the two Percs-de-Strasbourg versions (HM and Denon), of which, IMHO (haha), the HM recording sucks, and the Denon recording is great.

I dare you. I double dare you. :-*

So, the six females, and the Erato recording, conspire to bring us a very beautifully,...mmmm,...I'm going to say "femenine" (am I spelling that right?). The ladies play Pleaides as well as P-o-Str, but you can almost just feel their delicacy, though, I not saying they play anything less the Xenakis standard.

The recording, too, unlike the Denon, is more distant, with the players obviously closer and farther away, giving, in Peaux, a true feeling of the spacial quality of the piece. The Denon recording is just really cool and in your face; this one feels more like one of those Nimbus discs. You can really feel the rebounds here.

The only real letdown is the sound of the group's sixxens, the instrument specifically designed for this piece. The P-o-Str's instruments sound like tubular bells on their Denon recording, but sound like crap on the HM. Here too, the instruments start off sounding a little like trash cans, and the distance of the recording adds to the strange effect. It's not really really bad like the HM, but if you're used to the Denon, it's a letdown.

WEll, while we're at it, let's bring the Kroumata/BIS and RFBF/Mode versions into the picture. The Kroumata I have no idea about, though, of course, BIS has an excellent sonic reputation. The Mode was not preferred to the P-o-Str (I don't know which version, though, it weould have to be the Denon ;D) in an Amazon review, and I think the sound of the sixxen had something to do with it. Either way, I'm here to say that the Denon is the bible performance, and that this Erato version singularly stands out as a beautifully spacial recording, with a  crystalline and delicatly powerful performance by the all girl band, woo woo! :-*

This cd is a great find, one of the most beautiful Xenakis discs ever. Idmen is an elusive masterpiece, wholly unique and beautiful and powerfully gentle, a great summing up of his strengths in the midst of his most creative phase (really unlike that Hyperion choral disc). The music, performances, and recordings all conspire together for probably the most ear tickling and joyful Xenakis disc ever. Essential! 8)

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: UB on June 22, 2010, 07:34:59 AM
R3  (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00sv6l4) is broadcasting a performance of Pleiades next Saturday on Hear and Now. If you miss the broadcast on Saturday it will be available on demand for a week.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on June 23, 2010, 11:31:28 AM
Here (http://soundtime.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/smiles-of-a-summers-day/) is a good write-up of the Xenakis festivities in Central Park yesterday, by a friend who went out in one of the rowboats on the lake, to hear Persephassa.  There was also a review in The New York Times today.  Mentally compiling the various reports, it sounds like a success, even if sonically not ideal. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on June 25, 2010, 10:06:25 AM
And here (http://www.eardrumnyc.com/blog/254-photos-video-yesterdays-make-music-new-york-performance-of-iannis-xenakis-persephassa-on-boats-in-central-park) are some photos of the Xenakis on the lake, thanks to Eardrum NYC.  I'm a bit bummed that I wasn't able to go.  :(

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 26, 2010, 06:19:06 AM
Here (http://soundtime.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/smiles-of-a-summers-day/) is a good write-up of the Xenakis festivities in Central Park yesterday, by a friend who went out in one of the rowboats on the lake, to hear Persephassa.  There was also a review in The New York Times today.  Mentally compiling the various reports, it sounds like a success, even if sonically not ideal. 

--Bruce

I'd heard about that. How bout some relevancy, huh?

And so, it just happened to coincide with the arrival of this awesome 2-cd Philips box of Les Percussions de Strasbourg, which, when I saw it on Amazon.fr, I just kneeew it had the original version of Persephassa on it, and,....I was right!

Like most of you, I've had the Mode version (the Varese/Xenakis cd) forever. The piece never made much of an impression on me, but, as I ran out of new Xenakis to sate my thirst, eventually I had to go back and reaquaint myself.

As it stands now, we have four versions of this monster:

Philips '71,
Mode 1 (Varese/Xenakis disc; Carnegie Mellon percussionists),
Demoe/Stradivarius, and
Mode 2 (Red Fish Blue Fish).

The reviews for the Schick set obviously say that it's an improvement on the Varese/Xenakis disc. I heard the snippet, and, surely, the recording sounds like it should. This I'd really like to hear. The Demoe snippet seemed to reveal a dinky acoustic. The Mellon version, though competitive, seems distantly recorded. The closest member already seems far away, so, when we hear the farthest member, it really IS far away!

So, that brings us to this original 1971 recording, with the original lineup of the PoS. Let me just say that within twenty seconds you will be blown away! Truly, simply on detail along, this recording blows the Mellon. It simply won't do to tell you. The sonic experience truly makes this piece. I compared with the Mellon for a while, but then the Mellon just became obsolete. I'm sure I might listen to it once more, but then, poof! The 1971 is the shizzle!

I just couldn't believe this rich recording, and this primal interpretation. Just like most all original Xenakis recordings, there is a feral quality of discovery in the sound itself, so "2001:A Space Odyssey", so brutal and primal. This recording would be played right after the RZ Editions Terretekhtorh and Nomos Gamma.

I feel like a broken record, but lately I've just been hearing some awesome new Xenakis. Everything I hear is an instant masterpiece! Though this piece has been around, if you have the Mode/Mellon version, you have no idea what you're missing. I imagine it's more like the hazy sonics that the people in the canoes might have heard. The Philips is just a monster by comparison.



Wow, I have now pretty well reached the end of available Xenakis. What shall I do?? Ack!! I think I've almost spent $200 on less than a hour's worth of Xenakis in the last couple of months! May the madness continue, haha!! NOT!!! :-*
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 09, 2010, 06:39:37 PM
Around 1997, I was sitting in a Baltimore church waiting for a Modern Music performance to begin, and, as I scrolled down, I saw Xenakis,...and my heart leapt,...and then I saw it was a piece for percussion and I went flat. Back then, I just couldn't have any respect for "classical" percussion, and, as I don't remember, the performance didn't convert me. Hey, it's a piece for tom-toms and woodblocks,...whaddaya want? ::)

Then I got the first Mode disc of Ensemble Pieces, which has probably the most flubbety flub version of any drum piece I've ever heard. At some point, percussionist Robert McEwen's drumsticks seem to be getting more play than the real instruments. For me, the merest hint of a drumstick flub will send me to the rewind. I'm sorry, but I must have absolute perfection from my percussionists.

Then I got Johan Faber by default on a BVHAAST disc. I was listening to it again recently, in an effort to make friends with the piece, and, I was generally happy with his performance. I hear two suspicious places, but,nothing bad really stood out. OR so I thought....

I recently got Steven Schick's second-out-of-three-recordings, the Neuma disc, Drumming in the Dark, which I chose mostly for the discmates (Saariaho, Ferneyhough, Reynolds), but also for Schick's reputation. His first disc, Born to be Wild (Newport) doesn't seem to be available, and the new Mode is just not my cup of packaging (why why why couldn't they have made a two release survey, so we could have had a little more control?).

As most everybody starts the rhythmic section (I can't remember if it's A, or B) off the same, it's not until the very first double-time run that we start to hear differences, and, with Schick, WOW!, he just simply bloooooows the others away. And the real test is the first introduction of the woodblocks, which Schick makes everyone sound like, well, ...crap. Literally. I personally would still like a little more absolute control, but Schick is very very good here. He is the only one so far that I've heard who keeps the mathematics of the piece always upfront. The "atoms colliding and riqocheting (sic)" really comes through with Schick. As the piece progresses, and the integration of the toms and the woodblocks occurs, Schick's virtuosity makes mincemeat of the other competitors. Direct comparisons are deadly humorous (but not for the other players!!).

There is a section, somewhere in A/B, where a rolling on the toms is produced. Just hearing the difference between Faber and Schick here is amazing, but, when I went on Amazon to research further, I was stunned by the snippet of Markus Leosson's (?) performance on Caprice. The snippet just happened to be this tom roll, and Leosson even outdoes Schick here. So, one must wonder about Leosson then (someone earlier asked about him during the Psappha discussion). I'm not too crazy about the discmates, but, we'll see.

Since I was so taken by Peter Sadlo's version of P{sappha, I was dismayed to see his Koch recording unavailable in the US, and astronomical elsewhere. There does seem to be some kind of Koch re-issue, reusing the title, "Percussion in Concert" (from an earlier cd), but it appears to only have two versions of "B" ??? ??? ??? I don't understand this. Can anyone verify? There is also a DG/Sadlo disc (something "Hors***" "Horsaal", or something) that might have a new version, but this too seems to only have "B". Again, I just can't seem to get a verifiable track listing. Sadlo is a monster, and I'd love to hear his Rebonds.

Now, there's this new cd called "Gravity", which also has pieces by Globokar and Pintscher and others, that has been getting great reviews. The snippet I heard was tantalizing. I forgot the player's name.

Also, there is a new BIS disc, called "Open", which I have heard nothing.

That leaves Pedro Cameiro's all Xenakis recital, which, though I haven't heard it, has a reputation for being special (as a whole record, that is). His video performance, though, seems a bit human to me (Latin blood?), so, I can't really hear the ultra-mathematics, but the he does have an impressive human swing.



Also, on YouTube there are many performances, including one by Schick (I think). There is one, that starts off so beautifully (many thought this the bible performance on YT), and, I was impressed, but, as soon as he hits the first woodblock run, he takes it soooooooooo slow as to destroy all momentum.



Currently, I find Rebonds a masterpiece (as revealed to me by Schick). The homogeny between the toms and woodblocks makes this such a monochromatic, "brown" piece, with only the actual hitting of notes producing any effect. The smooth, or slippery, act of going imperceptabely (sic) from one instrument to the next produces a constant 1/8 note dribbling along like liquid wood. If played absolutely perfectly, I can't imagine the effect.

Though no performance I know of strays too far from the 11-13min range, it seems the Xenakis catalog calls for a playing time of 8mins :o :P, Yum yum, haha. Yea, I just don't see that happening anytime soon, haha. Maybe they'll make an album of computer realizations of his percussion pieces, like they did for his keyboard stuff? Interesting.

So, what do you think of Rebonds, the most ubiquitous  classical percussion piece of all time?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on July 09, 2010, 07:50:23 PM
Is this the Leoson Cd you are talking about?
(http://www.akuma.de/images/ccover/cl900/l946/l94635i3t1h.jpg)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 10, 2010, 06:13:53 AM
Is this the Leoson Cd you are talking about?
(http://www.akuma.de/images/ccover/cl900/l946/l94635i3t1h.jpg)

That's the one with Psappha, isn't it? I think the other one, with Rebonds, is simply called "Percussion". As I recall, it has a bluish background, with MK in silhouette, getting ready to throw down on some kettle drums. I've never seen this cover before.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 27, 2010, 05:08:04 PM
Around 1997, I was sitting in a Baltimore church waiting for a Modern Music performance to begin, and, as I scrolled down, I saw Xenakis,...and my heart leapt,...and then I saw it was a piece for percussion and I went flat. Back then, I just couldn't have any respect for "classical" percussion, and, as I don't remember, the performance didn't convert me. Hey, it's a piece for tom-toms and woodblocks,...whaddaya want? ::)

Then I got the first Mode disc of Ensemble Pieces, which has probably the most flubbety flub version of any drum piece I've ever heard. At some point, percussionist Robert McEwen's drumsticks seem to be getting more play than the real instruments. For me, the merest hint of a drumstick flub will send me to the rewind. I'm sorry, but I must have absolute perfection from my percussionists.

Then I got Johan Faber by default on a BVHAAST disc. I was listening to it again recently, in an effort to make friends with the piece, and, I was generally happy with his performance. I hear two suspicious places, but,nothing bad really stood out. OR so I thought....

I recently got Steven Schick's second-out-of-three-recordings, the Neuma disc, Drumming in the Dark, which I chose mostly for the discmates (Saariaho, Ferneyhough, Reynolds), but also for Schick's reputation. His first disc, Born to be Wild (Newport) doesn't seem to be available, and the new Mode is just not my cup of packaging (why why why couldn't they have made a two release survey, so we could have had a little more control?).

As most everybody starts the rhythmic section (I can't remember if it's A, or B) off the same, it's not until the very first double-time run that we start to hear differences, and, with Schick, WOW!, he just simply bloooooows the others away. And the real test is the first introduction of the woodblocks, which Schick makes everyone sound like, well, ...crap. Literally. I personally would still like a little more absolute control, but Schick is very very good here. He is the only one so far that I've heard who keeps the mathematics of the piece always upfront. The "atoms colliding and riqocheting (sic)" really comes through with Schick. As the piece progresses, and the integration of the toms and the woodblocks occurs, Schick's virtuosity makes mincemeat of the other competitors. Direct comparisons are deadly humorous (but not for the other players!!).

There is a section, somewhere in A/B, where a rolling on the toms is produced. Just hearing the difference between Faber and Schick here is amazing, but, when I went on Amazon to research further, I was stunned by the snippet of Markus Leosson's (?) performance on Caprice. The snippet just happened to be this tom roll, and Leosson even outdoes Schick here. So, one must wonder about Leosson then (someone earlier asked about him during the Psappha discussion). I'm not too crazy about the discmates, but, we'll see.

Since I was so taken by Peter Sadlo's version of P{sappha, I was dismayed to see his Koch recording unavailable in the US, and astronomical elsewhere. There does seem to be some kind of Koch re-issue, reusing the title, "Percussion in Concert" (from an earlier cd), but it appears to only have two versions of "B" ??? ??? ??? I don't understand this. Can anyone verify? There is also a DG/Sadlo disc (something "Hors***" "Horsaal", or something) that might have a new version, but this too seems to only have "B". Again, I just can't seem to get a verifiable track listing. Sadlo is a monster, and I'd love to hear his Rebonds.

Now, there's this new cd called "Gravity", which also has pieces by Globokar and Pintscher and others, that has been getting great reviews. The snippet I heard was tantalizing. I forgot the player's name.

Also, there is a new BIS disc, called "Open", which I have heard nothing.

That leaves Pedro Cameiro's all Xenakis recital, which, though I haven't heard it, has a reputation for being special (as a whole record, that is). His video performance, though, seems a bit human to me (Latin blood?), so, I can't really hear the ultra-mathematics, but the he does have an impressive human swing.



Also, on YouTube there are many performances, including one by Schick (I think). There is one, that starts off so beautifully (many thought this the bible performance on YT), and, I was impressed, but, as soon as he hits the first woodblock run, he takes it soooooooooo slow as to destroy all momentum.



Currently, I find Rebonds a masterpiece (as revealed to me by Schick). The homogeny between the toms and woodblocks makes this such a monochromatic, "brown" piece, with only the actual hitting of notes producing any effect. The smooth, or slippery, act of going imperceptabely (sic) from one instrument to the next produces a constant 1/8 note dribbling along like liquid wood. If played absolutely perfectly, I can't imagine the effect.

Though no performance I know of strays too far from the 11-13min range, it seems the Xenakis catalog calls for a playing time of 8mins :o :P, Yum yum, haha. Yea, I just don't see that happening anytime soon, haha. Maybe they'll make an album of computer realizations of his percussion pieces, like they did for his keyboard stuff? Interesting.

So, what do you think of Rebonds, the most ubiquitous  classical percussion piece of all time?

I just got the Markus Leoson "Percussion" cd with Rebonds, and I gotta say it's quite a stunning performance. He goes toe to toe with Schick ("Drumming in the Dark"), but he has slightly more interesting instruments (still tom-toms), and his woodblock section is more dynamic than Schick. Pretty much, they totally trade off on interesting touches, complementing each other.

The main schocker, though, was Leoson's choice of instruments in the slower sounding "A" (the one that does NOT start off with the ubiquitous rhythmic pattern). All other recordings I've heard play the tom-toms "in order", meaning, from lowest to highest, but Leoson puts the lynch pin tom out of "order", so that every time you are expecting a high hit, you get a low one. When the cyclopaeic (?) maelstrom begins, we are always expecting the gravity to be to a certain tom, and Leoson has masterfully played with these expectations.

PURE GENIUS

Also, this low drum is so huge it has a tonal hum to it, lending this percussion piece an otherwise unheard of dimension, that one one else has hit on (that I know of).

The woodblocks also have a nicer, wetter sound than Schick's more close up portrait. Schick's sound more like bamboo, whereas Leoson's sound like real clip-clops.

However, after comparing for a while, one is truly struck by both performers' overt technical virtuosity. Perhaps Leoson is a bit more feeling,but when either one of them gets going, the sheer precision of all these thousands of notes is a visceral thrill! Right at the very end of Leoson's big finish, there is a small section where he mimics an echo chamber like no other.

The rest of Leoson's recital includes Tanaka (marimba), Donatoni (Omar; vibraphone), Fukushi, B. Tommy Andersson (concerto), and Milhaud (Concerto for Marimba and Vibraphone). Well, there's no real accounting for what's on a percussion cd, I guess, haha. The Milhaud is soooooo charming you can't help but smile.

I will say that I certainly wouldn't mind hearing an even better performance of Rebonds, but, I think the whole point of the piece is to have at least one "straining" note, just to let you know it's a person. Both Leoson and Schick have their human milliseconds, but, when compared with someone like McEwen on Mode (I'm sorry I keep raggin on ya!), everything becomes all too clear.

POW :o!! Good stuff! ;) 8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on July 27, 2010, 05:30:15 PM
Interesting read, snyprrr!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on August 25, 2010, 04:46:29 AM
I've got a few rare Xenakis cds on Ebay. Check it ut!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on August 25, 2010, 04:47:47 AM
I just noticed we have as many "replies" as the Dvorak's Den Thread, but only half the "views". Hmmm... ;D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: just Jeff on August 26, 2010, 01:25:55 PM
Part of the 70s Decca Headline series.  Very nice sounding LPs from the "golden age."

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/XENAKISHEADFT.jpg)
(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/XENAKISHEADBK.jpg)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on August 26, 2010, 05:02:18 PM
Part of the 70s Decca Headline series.  Very nice sounding LPs from the "golden age."

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/XENAKISHEADFT.jpg)
(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/XENAKISHEADBK.jpg)

That's on cd now, but not with that great cover!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on August 26, 2010, 06:03:45 PM
Okho (1989)

This was my least favorite X piece, I guess for obvious reasons. I mean, since when did AvantGardeComposers start writing African music?

Well, since the '80s, at least!

Whether you believe, or not, that the djembe can make six distinct sounds, may be irrelevant. If played well, the piece displays Xenakian characteristics to a tee. All the different time lapse techniques that X loves are all on display here, thrust into bold relief by the sound of the instruments themselves. You hear flutterings, and pebbles rolling on the floor, and rain, and all sorts of things that can be defined by the interesting work "rhythm". In a way, the sheer African sound of the instruments trumps all, but, to be sure, the Xenakis personality can be discerned.

I just got Pedro Cameiro's survey of X's solo (ish) percussion pieces (Okho, Rebonds, Psappha), and, I gotta tell ya, it is probably the best set of recorded percussion sounds I've ever heard. As one reviewer put it, they have captured the ephemera of percussive sounds very well.

So, now I have, by default, three versions of Okho: Mode (Ensemble Music 2, not the Schick set), Disques Montaigne (Arditti's "From France"), and this one. That leaves the Schick/Mode set, the Percussion Group The Hague (Globe), the Talujon(?) group's album "Speed of Passing Time", and, and... I think that's it,...whew! Yet another Xenakis instant classic, I guess, huh?

Surprisingly, the dedicatees, the Trio le Circle (Montaigne), have the most opaquely recorded, and least interesting, performance, I think. Both of the other groups show interesting dynamic choices once the bass drum makes its first appearance, that they play with straight dynamics. And, there does seem to be an amount of struggle in spots.

The Mode recording by the ST-X Ensemble, as it turns out (I'm not a big fan of their main percussionist, McEwen), is an altogether more interesting affair, with a recording that helps play off of the spacial aspect of the three same sounding instruments.

The snippets from the Schick, Hague, and Talujon sets reveal very tight recordings, though it is fair nigh impossible to discern any stylistic differences.

The Cameiro recording, I think, has to be the best recording at least. The 3 djembes all have distinct "octaves", and spacial placement (though, close). The round robin aspect of the music comes of very well, and the stunning recording really captures,... the ephemera, haha,... very well!



I think that all this goes to show that when you have a music that seems as deceptively mundane as Okho, all elements can come together to reveal a piece in its best light. Whether Okho is a masterpiece outside of the medium (the Globe disc is for all Modernist djembe trios ???) is,...uh,...mmm,....clear. Mm, eh,...maybe :-*!

As far as this Cameiro recording goes, though, X's 3 pieces may not have yet gotten a so consistently beautiful presentation. The 3 pieces played in succession truly form a minor cycle. Great gift for your drummer teen!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Sid on September 09, 2010, 03:57:47 PM
Just got this yesterday & have listened to it three times.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41KG6RwC34L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

An amazing journey. Reflecting the subject matter of the Legend of Er (from Plato's Republic) where a guy dies, goes into the underworld - for want of a better term - and then wakes up again. Like the ancient Greeks' concept of this other world, which was kind of a combination of heaven and hell, this music has brutality as well as beauty. The music builds up in layers, from very basic materials (if you only listen to the first five minutes, you might think that it's minimalist). There's also a strong structural/architectural element in this music, reflecting not only Xenakis background as an architect, but also the fact that it was written for the opening of the Georges Pompidou arts centre in Paris in the late '70's. It's just amazing music, and one of my springboards into electronica by other composers...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on September 09, 2010, 04:37:19 PM
I absolutely love La Légende d'Eer. It is one of those works that if I put it on I have to listen to it through.

IMHO that is the best recording of the piece (though I have the original Montaigne release with the "proper" cover). I have listened to it live, in a concert organized by Mode Records with sound projection by Gerard Pape; it was too loud and the sound projection was done very crudely (if you call pushing 8 faders back and forth producing a global tremolando effect across all channels sound projection), a huge disappointment when compared to the level of refinement in the Montaigne recording.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 10, 2010, 08:25:46 AM
I absolutely love La Légende d'Eer. It is one of those works that if I put it on I have to listen to it through.

IMHO that is the best recording of the piece (though I have the original Montaigne release with the "proper" cover). I have listened to it live, in a concert organized by Mode Records with sound projection by Gerard Pape; it was too loud and the sound projection was done very crudely (if you call pushing 8 faders back and forth producing a global tremolando effect across all channels sound projection), a huge disappointment when compared to the level of refinement in the Montaigne recording.

Do you have the newer Mode/Pape cd? Differences? I, of course ::), sold my copy of the Montaigne for $1 (in the days before I knew about ebay >:D). And, it was available for $5 on amazon recently, but,...eventually I'm suuure...

I was just listening to Occident-Orient, basically a 10min. catalog of "ancient" sounding sounds, like a Webernesque Persepolis! My point is that even back then (1960?), X seemed to prefer very simple, yet extremely effective sounds: scraps, cicadas, the hollow rings of bells,... all like walking down the echoey corridors of time.

IF I HAD THREE (3) OTHER ELECTRO-ACOUS WORKS, BESIDES THESE THREE BY XENAKIS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE? I'M THINKING LONGISH DIORAMA, PANORAMIC, ANCIENT-Y, blah blah,... opinions? My ears just won't put up with too much E/A, but, what is the cream of the cream of the cream? I AM, and kind of not, feigning ignorance,... but, is there a consensus?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on September 10, 2010, 06:10:04 PM
Do you have the newer Mode/Pape cd?

Yes, I bought the DVD at the concert. To be honest I don't think I ever listened to it, apart from watching the bonus documentary, so disappointed I was with the performance.

IF I HAD THREE (3) OTHER ELECTRO-ACOUS WORKS, BESIDES THESE THREE BY XENAKIS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE? I'M THINKING LONGISH DIORAMA, PANORAMIC, ANCIENT-Y, blah blah,... opinions? My ears just won't put up with too much E/A, but, what is the cream of the cream of the cream? I AM, and kind of not, feigning ignorance,... but, is there a consensus?

I doubt there is a consensus. As for me, I'm partial to Parmegiani (e.g. Pour en finir avec le pouvoir d'Orphée, Dedans-Dehors, Exercisme 3) and Dhomont (e.g. the massive Mouvances-Métaphores cycle). Some say Parmegiani's De Natura Sonorum is a must. But there is a lot out there that is worthwhile and very, very good.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 12, 2010, 05:13:01 AM

I doubt there is a consensus. As for me, I'm partial to Parmegiani (e.g. Pour en finir avec le pouvoir d'Orphée, Dedans-Dehors, Exercisme 3) and Dhomont (e.g. the massive Mouvances-Métaphores cycle). Some say Parmegiani's De Natura Sonorum is a must. But there is a lot out there that is worthwhile and very, very good.

oh greeeat ::),... two more names I've never heard, haha,... ok, "once more into the breach", haha,...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 03, 2010, 10:27:20 AM
Well, I've done it this time.

I sent an email to ColLegno, seeing if they could get the rights to finally put Cendrees, Nekuia, & N'Shima on cd from the old Erato LPs.

And, I said I was head of so-and-so Xenakis Society! ::) (am I not??)

Sooo,... I finally got a reply! Aaaand,... the guy took me seriously! :o He asked me if I've contacted Erato/Warner Classics, and really sounded interested in getting this stuff out (I mean, it IS right up their alley).



So, I give out a clarion call to any and all who would be interested in doing something here. I'm probably not the guy to be the point man here, so I'd really appreciate if their were some serious people out there. I'll do what I can. Maybe someone knows someone who works at Warners, or knows the correct email, or, whatever.

PM me for further details from ColLegno (names, emails).



C'mon kids! Let's put on a show!!! :-*
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Bulldog on December 03, 2010, 10:36:46 AM
Well, I've done it this time.

I sent an email to ColLegno, seeing if they could get the rights to finally put Cendrees, Nekuia, & N'Shima on cd from the old Erato LPs.

And, I said I was head of so-and-so Xenakis Society! ::) (am I not??)

Sooo,... I finally got a reply! Aaaand,... the guy took me seriously! :o He asked me if I've contacted Erato/Warner Classics, and really sounded interested in getting this stuff out (I mean, it IS right up their alley).

You have a bad habit - changing the titles of threads you don't initiate.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 03, 2010, 11:24:20 AM
You have a bad habit - changing the titles of threads you don't initiate.

Not a Thread,... just a Post! ;D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Bulldog on December 03, 2010, 11:56:59 AM
Not a Thread,... just a Post! ;D

Why do it at all?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: DavidW on December 03, 2010, 12:07:53 PM
Snips all you are doing is making it confusing for those that see the recent posts on the front page.  Please don't change the thread title with your posts.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 03, 2010, 01:50:39 PM
I am feeling Peace
I am feeling Peace
I am feeling Peace ::)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on December 03, 2010, 03:19:33 PM
Lol, snyprrr, you're really making me laugh after reading your composition thread and then this. It feels like my migraine might be going away now.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: DavidW on December 03, 2010, 03:58:04 PM
A friend is sending me a bunch of Xenakis, so I'm going to be in heaven soon.  Plus the cd I ordered just shipped today. :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: just Jeff on December 03, 2010, 08:09:40 PM
A total knockout piano record!

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/TAKAHASHIDENONPCM.jpg)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 04, 2010, 07:18:22 AM
A total knockout piano record!

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/TAKAHASHIDENONPCM.jpg)

Check out "Evryali" on YouTube. There is one performance in particular, by someone-Mark-Roberts, or something, but he has two different versions, and the earlier one is my vote for best Evryali ever, bar none (sorry Aki!). He's the only one who can make jazz of this piece. I think it's spectacular!

Also, this Yuji version, I remember, but it had been getting sloppy reviews (compared to everyone else), but I just listened to that, and MY!, even though he is very,...mmm,...trying to hit all the notes, the crisp recording captures all the notes better than others. It's a BIG performance (as opposed to the more managed ones) and sounds like a symphony. I might have to pick it up again.

The other Japanese lady who has a performance (her's is also on YouTube) plays the piece so fast as to lose all pleasure. Sure, she seems to hit the notes, but the piece is more than that. She loses all sense of the jazzy play that the other performer imbues in his.

Wow, this piece is something. I can't stop listening to it. Oh wait, there's even a VIDEO of someone playing it, and I must admit, it looks a lot easier when I'm watching this guy's hands. This performance, too, is a little TOO wild.

There is also a performance by Rolf Hind that's standard, straight up Evryali, very good.

Aki (with Hind) and the John-Mark? guy (earlier performance) are currently my top picks for this monster piece.






btw- no one can figure out how to contact Warner Classics? I'd love for us to be able to influence a recording like this.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: just Jeff on December 04, 2010, 01:00:16 PM
Also, this Yuji version, I remember, but it had been getting sloppy reviews (compared to everyone else), but I just listened to that, and MY!, even though he is very,...mmm,...trying to hit all the notes, the crisp recording captures all the notes better than others. It's a BIG performance (as opposed to the more managed ones) and sounds like a symphony. I might have to pick it up again.

btw- no one can figure out how to contact Warner Classics? I'd love for us to be able to influence a recording like this.

Who is Aki Takahashi, any relation, I notice mention in the Third Ear guide under this composer a mention?

But yeah, Denon had a point to prove, and these digital records (before CDs came along) were some thunderous sounding recordings for better of worse.  I just sold my copy on ebay for $52, but not before capturing to my hard drive for future revists.  I did my own reissue so to speak.  Warner's stock is way down, so sad, so sad.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on December 04, 2010, 01:17:19 PM
Who is Aki Takahashi, any relation, I notice mention in the Third Ear guide under this composer a mention?
I was confused for a while, too!
Just checked here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%ABji_Takahashi

and it says Aki is his sister. Phew... okay, it all makes sense now.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on December 06, 2010, 08:12:45 AM
There isn't a recording of Nyuuyou with real kotos, is there? The only recording I have (and know of that actually exists) substitutes guitars for the kotos.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 06, 2010, 08:49:07 AM
There isn't a recording of Nyuuyou with real kotos, is there? The only recording I have (and know of that actually exists) substitutes guitars for the kotos.

No, but that is quite a piece! I was trying to figure the opening out just yesterday!, but, with my indeterminate sense of pitch,...oh, haha!! ::) I love how that one guitar in the beginning does that koto smack,... sooo hard! Whack! :-\

I just finally heard it on YouTube recently, and was pleasantly surprised.

Greg, what do you think a Xenakis solo guitar piece would have sounded like? I could have seen him writing 2-3 really Great, diverse pieces, not to mention 2-4 guitars.



That mid-80s chunk of Xenakis that still need to be better revisited are the years '84-'85, in which we still have at least one hitherto unheard of morsel, Alax, for 3 orchestral groups.



I am in such a Xenakis frenzy lately, obsessively listening to pieces over and over. Add to this the fact that the discography has atrophied since the Timpani series ended :'( (arrgh, leaving just a few, tantalizing pieces left unheard), and you have the makings of a frothing snyprrr!

Here's what I see for the Mode series:

1) another Schick/Red Fish Blue Fish set including O-Mega, Zythos, Idmen, and possibly Plekto. and, maybe Khal-Perr.

2) a disc of "String Solos, Duos, & Trios"

3) I see a disc called XBrass (can you see it on the Mode cover?) which would theoretically cull any and all other missing Xenakis pieces (including the unrecorded Linea-Agon), along with Keren,... though Eonta and such are already on other Modes.

I'm having difficulty seeing how Mode is going to wrap up this Xenakis cycle. As I see it, they've painted themselves into a corner, leaving only utterly diverse pieces left. Perhaps they will continue with the "Ensemble Music"  way that they started the series out with?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on December 06, 2010, 10:10:15 AM
No, but that is quite a piece! I was trying to figure the opening out just yesterday!, but, with my indeterminate sense of pitch,...oh, haha!! ::) I love how that one guitar in the beginning does that koto smack,... sooo hard! Whack! :-\

I just finally heard it on YouTube recently, and was pleasantly surprised.
I just listened to it again today. I haven't listened in a couple of years, because I don't remember being pleased with it on first hearing. This time, though, I was stunned- very nice piece.



Greg, what do you think a Xenakis solo guitar piece would have sounded like? I could have seen him writing 2-3 really Great, diverse pieces, not to mention 2-4 guitars.
Hmm.... depends on when he would have written it. I could imagine a guitar piece using Greek scales during one section and very violent (but steady) strumming of dischords if it would have been a later work.



Here's what I see for the Mode series:

1) another Schick/Red Fish Blue Fish set including O-Mega, Zythos, Idmen, and possibly Plekto. and, maybe Khal-Perr.

2) a disc of "String Solos, Duos, & Trios"

3) I see a disc called XBrass (can you see it on the Mode cover?) which would theoretically cull any and all other missing Xenakis pieces (including the unrecorded Linea-Agon), along with Keren,... though Eonta and such are already on other Modes.

I'm having difficulty seeing how Mode is going to wrap up this Xenakis cycle. As I see it, they've painted themselves into a corner, leaving only utterly diverse pieces left. Perhaps they will continue with the "Ensemble Music"  way that they started the series out with?

That sounds good. It would nice (and much easier) if they just released all of his unrecorded works into one CD, though.  :D (of course, realistically, that won't be happening...)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 06, 2010, 08:43:55 PM
I could imagine a guitar piece using Greek scales during one section and very violent (but steady) strumming of dischords if it would have been a later work.

I'm also thinking about those asynchronous scales going up and down at the same time a la the end of the solo cello and bass pieces. I've been trying to figure it out, but it's a brain twister. It might just be easier writing it,... I can "hear" how it would work.

I've been playing that Pelog scale,... it's just an E Major scale without the c# and f#. But it sounds so much like Xenakis,... I want to come up with my own scale,...Waaaaah!!!! :'(

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on December 07, 2010, 05:55:54 AM
Another interesting idea I've came up with from messing around on guitar was using a scale consisting of ascending perfect fifths, but with an extra note in the middle. (In this case, the extra note being a minor third).

Example: A C D F G Bb C Eb F Ab Bb Db

I think Xenakis might have used an asynchronous scale like this before.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 07, 2010, 09:14:45 AM
Another interesting idea I've came up with from messing around on guitar was using a scale consisting of ascending perfect fifths, but with an extra note in the middle. (In this case, the extra note being a minor third).

Example: A C D F G Bb C Eb F Ab Bb Db

I think Xenakis might have used an asynchronous scale like this before.

Wow, it's ALMOST normal,... but,... yea, that's pretty cool! You figured out what I've been looking for, haha! I'm still scratching my head over pitch sieves.

Do you have Epicycles? He uses the "American Indian" sound here,... something I soooo identify with "wompum" music from westerns, that when he uses it for HIS context, it really makes my head spin. How DARE he use A-C-D-F-G, haha!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 07, 2010, 09:18:05 AM
What part of Xenakis could be considered "spectral"? I mean, maybe it's not fair using that particular word,... however, X obviously knew the inner workings of a tone. Maybe I'm just fishing for a concept here. ::)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: just Jeff on December 10, 2010, 02:03:18 PM
I just listened to this the other night.  Very interesting composition with Xenakis' input, but the early digital recording, in my opinion, did not result in a definative (sound quality)  version of the work.
(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/XENAKISARDITTIRCAFT.jpg)
(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/XENAKISARDITTIRCABK.jpg)

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on December 10, 2010, 05:01:04 PM
I just listened to this the other night.  Very interesting composition with Xenakis' input, but the early digital recording, in my opinion, did not result in a definative (sound quality)  version of the work.
(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/XENAKISARDITTIRCAFT.jpg)

Those pieces were ultimately rerecorded and released on the Chamber Music 1955-1990 double CD, which is a fine recording of a superb collection of music for strings and piano:

http://www.amazon.com/Iannis-Xenakis-Chamber-Music-1955-1990/dp/B000003VQA

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: DavidW on December 10, 2010, 06:51:58 PM
Well my first cd arrived earlier this week, which contain Synaphai; Aroura; Antikhthon and each of these pieces just blow me away.  I plan on listening a few more times this week, but I'm really impressed by how expressive Xenakis sounds while being just completely different from everything I've heard before. :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: CRCulver on December 10, 2010, 09:26:58 PM
If you're new to Xenakis, perhaps the best place to start is with his chamber and instrumental works, which are less dense and demanding than his larger-scale pieces.

That is a curious recommendation, when so many stories of people seeing the light of contemporary music through Xenakis speak of how they were impressed by "Jonchaies" or "Metastasis", while his chamber works get considerably less love.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: just Jeff on December 11, 2010, 01:47:18 AM
Well my first cd arrived earlier this week, which contain Synaphai; Aroura; Antikhthon and each of these pieces just blow me away.  I plan on listening a few more times this week, but I'm really impressed by how expressive Xenakis sounds while being just completely different from everything I've heard before. :)

Is that the Elgar Howarth, New Philharmonia Orchestra recording?  If so, I like mid-70s recordings for sound quality, and always start with those analog, rather thahn later digital recordings.  I posted original LP cover of that set, page 8 or this thread.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: DavidW on December 11, 2010, 12:29:02 PM
Is that the Elgar Howarth, New Philharmonia Orchestra recording?  If so, I like mid-70s recordings for sound quality, and always start with those analog, rather thahn later digital recordings.  I posted original LP cover of that set, page 8 or this thread.

Yup that's it. :)  I'll go look at your pic now.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on December 11, 2010, 12:38:19 PM
Well my first cd arrived earlier this week, which contain Synaphai; Aroura; Antikhthon and each of these pieces just blow me away.  I plan on listening a few more times this week, but I'm really impressed by how expressive Xenakis sounds while being just completely different from everything I've heard before. :)

It's just great stuff, isn't it!  He really is like no one else.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 11, 2010, 04:30:18 PM
Well my first cd arrived earlier this week, which contain Synaphai; Aroura; Antikhthon and each of these pieces just blow me away.  I plan on listening a few more times this week, but I'm really impressed by how expressive Xenakis sounds while being just completely different from everything I've heard before. :)

I just got that the other day too. I have the other recordings, but I heard the timings were differen ty here. I'm not absolutely crazy about the sound quality, though, ultimately, it is very good.

Synaphai definitely gets a run through here. On the Timpani recording, it cracks 16mins, but Howarth/Madge dispatch it in under 12mins. Though I can't heart it as faster, it certainly is more volitile. Hiroaki Ooi is infinitely more delicate in the solo part, but Madge blasts the piece apart! Howarth also gets some nice fruit from his brass and woodwinds. It's very nice to have two so very different recordings to compare.

Aroura and Antikhthon for a piece and should be listened to as such, I think. Aroura is also on Mode, and Antikhthon is on the Timpani survey; however, they are here together, and that is how I think they work. Antikhthon is 2mins longer than the Timpani, but this is no thing. Howarth is very fierce here, but so is Tamayo, and Timpani's recording offers a larger sound picture. But, with such unbelievable music, each recording is of course going to have felicities, and right now I wouldn't want to be without either.

I hadn't payed that much attention to Antikhthon when the Timpani series came out, but as I've been obsessively comparing the two versions, I've come to see the piece as quite the explosion of ideas. It is more advanced than the two large orchestral pieces that came before it, and yet it doesn't sound so much like later '70s Xenakis (Jonchaies, with its Pelog scale). It's pretty much slash and burn all the way through.

I will give Howarth the brass nod for coaxing the best out of his forces. The brass are a bit out front, but that's ok: the Timpani recording is the one to go to for studio perfection. The Howath is special for having that newly minted feel...



I could go on, but GET THIS CD!! I got it for $6.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 11, 2010, 04:34:26 PM
I think that set a top-shelf rec.

PLEIADES
Like Varèse, Xenakis was particularly drawn to the sonic possibilities of percussion. Of several works for percussion ensemble, Pleiades, a strikingly beautiful quartet of pieces which evokes the richness of Balinese gamelan, is the most exciting and aurally seductive. Written in 1978, it is divided into four sections, which group the percussion timbres by family - keyboards, metallophones, skins. The Claviers section is particularly rich, utilizing Indonesian scales and the bright timbres of vibraphone, xylophone and marimba to produce a fascinating ethno-minimalist concoction.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Y8X2BBE6L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

This disc from Harmonia Mundi features the ensemble for which Pleiades was written, and was recorded in the presence of the composer (who provides a sleevenote analysis of the piece), so it's not surprising that the performances are first-rate.

I have to kvetch over that recording. It is extremely dry. The same group re-recorded it on Denon (W/Ishii), and the sound is beautiful, especially in the Sixxen section. This is the only recording (BIS is on its way!) so far that has a good Sixxen (the Erato suffers slightly too). I heard the Mode Sixxen was so-so, so,... this Denon cd IS the one to get for Pleiades.

Trust me! ;)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 17, 2010, 11:49:42 PM
"The Expression of Emotion in A Remorseless World"



Xenakis is known for his staight ahead scientific approach to organizing musical events, that seem to preclude the existence of things like tunes. Most all of his first three periods (1955-1973) contain nothing that could be called hummable, unless you count the vocal works, but that's not what I'm going for. His open point was to express the music of reality, in which an evocation of water does not yield hummable bits as it does in Liszt and Debussy. The point is, there is no real moment of repose in Xenakis music, no reflection, no humanity.

However, in the late '60s, I believe Xenakis the humanitarian began to integrate the reality of humanity into his works, and in very simple ways. I think the first work that heralds the fully mature Xenakis is the vocal work Nuits. As the piece progresses in the usual, blunt, acrid, and/or brutal way,... the straighforward Xenakis way, there is a moment of repose in the middle, probably the Golden Section, where the voices get quiet, and drone, with bleeps and chirps,... the first truly evocative Xenakis moment, in my opinion. This moment is mirrored about ten years later in the work Akanthos, for soprano and ensemble, which has a similar, though even more haunting moment.

Then, in the string piece Aroura (1971), there is a moment when the basses hit a ground note, and there is a hanging on the minor second, the "crying" interval, throughout the registers. This same "emotion" is echoed in Antikhthon, from the same year. It's not as pronounced, but you will hear it early on. It is the sound of the earth heaving in that sad, descending minor second way.



His exclusive adoption of the Pelog Scale, and its wistful South Pacific/noble savage character, signaled the total integration of melodic appeal into his music. It permeates most of the works between 1977-86, reaching its most profound renditions in the vocal work Idmen, and the ensemble piece La Isle d'Goree, probably the perfect Xenakis work, combining all his concerns, married to an uber-humanist programme.

In later works, this scale seems to be reduced to its tones, meaningless, like wind chimes blowing randomly. In later work, the melancoly is suffused into the block-like rhetoric of the pieces themselves. One feature of late Xenakis that stands out is the chorale, which was first featured in the organ work Gmeeorgh in the '70s. The Lutoslawski memorial is a perfect example of this: slowing, grinding, chorale-like movement, with the melodic appeal of church bells from several different churches going off at once.

Many of his late pieces contain at least one prominent fifth or fourth, and many pieces are built on the modal, ancient sounding music that sounds neither minor nor major. All this music seems to be suffused with sad Gotterdammerung-like epilog to a Tragedy of the Gods feeling, where some are frozen in poses of torture, etc,...whilst the camera pans slowly across the apocalyptic fields,...giant blocks,...



The trombone concerto Troorkh has a most plaintive solo part, which enters seeming to make the sign of the cross. There is something of messages written across the night sky in this piece.



well, i'm running out of steam here,...nighteynight,...haha, the cat's snorning!,...





Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 22, 2010, 09:16:53 AM
Much to my surprise, Sea Nymphs has turned up on YouTube without the benefit of a cd. So, I was delighted to hear some "new" Xenakis.

Perhaps I had been expecting something bubblier (from reviews), but what I got was a very chordal treatment, perhaps sounding slightly like Voile, with its fanned out chords. It also sounds a bit like the previous choral piece, Knephas, which is on that Hyperion disc (now, having heard Sea Nymphs, I can say that it is no super loss that it wasn't composed in time for that cd). Ultimately, Sea Nymphs wasn't all that impressive, but I will surely be listening to it a lot (obsessive?,...me???) to try to wring some satisfaction out of it.







Also, the Roland A. performance of O-Mega is on YouTube, so we are able to compare it to the recording on Bvhaast. Wow!,... it's amazing sometimes the difference in Xenakis performances. The RA performance is so much more nuanced than JF (Johan Faber, Bvhaast). RA uses dynamics in the endless drum rolls, whereas JF simply bludgeons the piece out. However, the Bvhaast performance (3'30) has a certain incisiveness which eludes the RA performance. RA, though, sculps the final "exhaustion" (a la Rebonds) much more convincingly than JF. JF totally misses the mechanics of it all, and, this being IX's final word on anything musical, I do find it a bit important to get those last few notes down.

Anyway, the piece is as enigmatic as ever,... it's baffling that IX chose to end his career on this piece, but, we love it as only adoptive parents can!







On another note, new Xenakis recordings have been a giant let down. We have some Finnish or Norwegian chamber orchestra tackling Thallein (oy, another???), which seems to be becoming IX's warhorse, and we have a 2 Volume set of some Milan Music Festival, or something (on Stradivarius), where we have the Quatuor Danel playing Tetras and Ergma, and the chamber works Waarg, Zyia?, Phlegra, and maybe one other.

So, no Premieres. :'( >:D C'mon guys, you work for US!!! :o ;D Shore up the discography so we can move on with our lives already! :-* Important pieces awaiting their cd Premiere include:

Alax (for 3 instrumental groups; @22mins)

Koiroanoi & Sea-Change (two last orchestral works; Sea-Change is apparently on some 'lost' Greek cd (w/Psathas, Adami, Plakidis, Lapidakis)

Kai & Kulleinn (desperately need new recordings)

Zythos (Lindberg & Kroumata,... why no recording?)

Linea-Agon ('game' for tuba, t-bone, and trumpet)


taptaptap,...taptaptap,...taptaptap,...

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: greg on December 22, 2010, 07:50:25 PM
Listening to O-Mega for the first time...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwmQTKGJhxw

the look on his face says it all. It's almost as if the music is trying to sound as confident as it can be, even though it sounds weak overall. I can almost picture Xenakis swinging his fist on his deathbed confidently even though his body barely lets him. (maybe he wasn't like that when he was dying, but it's just want it makes me think of when listening to the music) Still, there is the underlying, unshakable confidence that you can hear in the music.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 23, 2010, 03:38:35 PM
Listening to O-Mega for the first time...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwmQTKGJhxw

the look on his face says it all. It's almost as if the music is trying to sound as confident as it can be, even though it sounds weak overall. I can almost picture Xenakis swinging his fist on his deathbed confidently even though his body barely lets him. (maybe he wasn't like that when he was dying, but it's just want it makes me think of when listening to the music) Still, there is the underlying, unshakable confidence that you can hear in the music.

i can see that.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 26, 2010, 08:37:56 AM
I think that set a top-shelf rec.

PLEIADES
Like Varèse, Xenakis was particularly drawn to the sonic possibilities of percussion. Of several works for percussion ensemble, Pleiades, a strikingly beautiful quartet of pieces which evokes the richness of Balinese gamelan, is the most exciting and aurally seductive. Written in 1978, it is divided into four sections, which group the percussion timbres by family - keyboards, metallophones, skins. The Claviers section is particularly rich, utilizing Indonesian scales and the bright timbres of vibraphone, xylophone and marimba to produce a fascinating ethno-minimalist concoction.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Y8X2BBE6L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

This disc from Harmonia Mundi features the ensemble for which Pleiades was written, and was recorded in the presence of the composer (who provides a sleevenote analysis of the piece), so it's not surprising that the performances are first-rate.

Finally got the Kroumata on BIS playing Pleiades (w/Gert Mortenson's Psappha). Wow!, the sonics on this one are out-stand-ing!! I am going to be comparing to the Strasbourg/DENON later today. This could be all out!

The Kroumata's SIXXENs also sound as good as the DENON recording, which is always a consideration.

The Claviers section in particular is so bubbly as to make one giddy! Melanges comes off spectacularly, with all the instruments swirling around each other.

Kroumata also boast the quickest timings out there, though this is really no consideration; however, the RedFishBlueFish/MODE recording is about a full 5mins. longer. I think I have a handle on all the recordings now, and I would recommend this BIS recording now simply for the Great Performance of Psappha, though, like I said, the sonics might just be too good to pass up here. I'll give an update on 'KroumataVSStrasbourg'.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 26, 2010, 08:52:05 AM
PSAPPHA

Also on the BIS disc is Gert Mortenson's Psappha (rec. 1981), which may be thee reference recording. The actual sonics are different than the discmate, but not distracting. The main feature of this performance is the fact that it may be the quickest to date recording. At 11mins., that's a full 5-6mins. shorter than the universally panned Pugliese/MODE recording, or 3mins. quicker than Schick/MODE.

The speed is important, for GM is the only performer who seems to 'get it right'. Only by playing at this speed do all the hyper fast parts make sense. In comparison, Peter Sadlo/TELDEC, who takes @14mins., sounds completely different. The buildups have a completely different character. Only GM refers all these buildups to actual, real, drummer-type music. GM actually sounds like he's playing a drum solo, not working things out in a lab. I've heard that Schick's MODE recording is curiously academic (and I'm not too fond of his choice of instruments).

I also went back and checked out the plethora of Psappha vids on YouTube. There are some great performances there, too. Check out the Schick, and you will see how his choice of instruments tends to be kind of dinky compared with the big booms of the Europeans.

GM also has a pretty good choice of instruments, but I do have to hand it to Sadlo/TELDEC here. Only Sadlo uses a can filled with nails, which produces a nice big, flat sound, perfect for this piece.

If anyone is in the market for Psappha, this GM version is really the first, the standard. The real premiere, by Gualda, has never made it onto cd, soooo,... unless justjeff here has it ::),...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on January 19, 2011, 08:29:09 PM
The Xenakis Files: 2011



Well, I've been in touch with a few of the 'in' companies (not Warner Classics yet), and I believe we have a certain situation on our hands. It could well be that we may not be getting too many more Orchestral Works (and, especially, Orchestra & Chorus (the only classic works not recorded in the Digital Age)) out of the Recording Industry for the simple reason that the financing has dried up,... worldwide! Imagine the cost of staging a recording of The 3 Great Choral/Orchestral Works (Cendrees, Anemoessa, Nekuia), with like 100 musicians and 60-80 singers,... yea, not unless Boulez says yes (like Jack Says Yes!, haha).

I can surely see that ANY creatively and thoughtfully arranged Xenakis Chamber Recital would be any potential investor's 'go to', simply because duh. I mean, there's a glut of percussion ensembles. Let's see what happens when we see Mode nearing completion of their Cycle.

Since we can't expect new recordings of practically the only Xenakis pieces NOT to have appeared on cd, my urgent need to contact Warner Classics has been reignited. I will try the above mentioned Facebook page, and I do have a friend... Anyhow, they theoretically have the Erato tapes of Cendrees & Nekuia, and, I just don't see any fiscal reason why they couldn't just slap a cd together (shouldn't the sales numbers from that EMI 2cd set be justification?) and just sell 10,000 copies (that IS the outer limits, no??)!!

So, anyhow,... I cover the waterfront looking for new Xenakis recordings, and have seen no signs since the last time we collectively wet our pants (was it the Aki/JACK Mode recording last summer?). I imagine 1-3 Mode releases this year, and I can see a few releases in the Bvhaast mold, but, beyond that (and the ubiquitous Rebonds), I can't see any new Orchestral Premieres (oh how I hope I'm wrong,... practically anything would be appreciated!), which is sad. Maybe Boulez will have a dream?

I guess I get all pissy because all the OTHER >:D Composers of the Great Generation seem to have their Complete Works available,... waaah :'(!!! Do you have any soothing consolations, or do I brave..ly,... hold... back...snff...tears :'(,...waaaah :'( :'( :'(???????
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: just Jeff on January 19, 2011, 09:39:00 PM
The Xenakis Files: 2011

my urgent need to contact Warner Classics has been reignited. I will try the above mentioned Facebook page??

Don't waste your time on facebook, get the phone number and call, and then when you speak to the right person ask for their email address, and that you will follow up with more detail exactly what is needed.  I can get the dept. phone number if you need me to.

But, truth be told, the record indusrty is pretty much over.  The bread and butter acts, think Zeppelin, Stones, Who, and Elton are not moving the numbers anymore.

Warners has just had a brutal 3 years with stock slipping south by the month.  So if they can't move their everygreens, and the paid for downloads not working out, new acts not breaking big, I don't think Zenakissss wil going to help their balance sheet.

Think of it like this, you are in Burbank in charge of catalog developement, and you job is on the line, if your choices of reissues from Erato do not more than break even, you will be fired.  They will pick two weeks before Christmas to fire you.  You must put together reissues that sell.  And CDs are just not selling.  Downloads are not doing well, itunes does not make enough to cover the losses.

You best bet is t0o not worry about what has been recorded in digital or not, and be glad it was recorded at all.  Learn to make CDs from LPs like I did, and you life will be saved by the magic of music.

It's been a long ride, and now we are deep into the sunset.  Sit back and reflect and listen to the great things that are out there to be heard, and forget about what mya have been.  Sorry to be so gloomy.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on January 20, 2011, 08:48:32 AM
Don't waste your time on facebook, get the phone number and call, and then when you speak to the right person ask for their email address, and that you will follow up with more detail exactly what is needed.  I can get the dept. phone number if you need me to.

But, truth be told, the record indusrty is pretty much over.  The bread and butter acts, think Zeppelin, Stones, Who, and Elton are not moving the numbers anymore.

Warners has just had a brutal 3 years with stock slipping south by the month.  So if they can't move their everygreens, and the paid for downloads not working out, new acts not breaking big, I don't think Zenakissss wil going to help their balance sheet.

Think of it like this, you are in Burbank in charge of catalog developement, and you job is on the line, if your choices of reissues from Erato do not more than break even, you will be fired.  They will pick two weeks before Christmas to fire you.  You must put together reissues that sell.  And CDs are just not selling.  Downloads are not doing well, itunes does not make enough to cover the losses.

You best bet is t0o not worry about what has been recorded in digital or not, and be glad it was recorded at all.  Learn to make CDs from LPs like I did, and you life will be saved by the magic of music.

It's been a long ride, and now we are deep into the sunset.  Sit back and reflect and listen to the great things that are out there to be heard, and forget about what mya have been.  Sorry to be so gloomy.

Yea,... I know. :'(

Sure, PM with the phone number. It's still worth a shot.

Youuu don't have the Erato LP with Nekuia, do you (came with N'Shima)? Really, it's the only piece left (Cendrees is on YouTube, from the LP).

Gotterdammerung, yes. 8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on March 03, 2011, 09:42:09 PM
Yea, nothing to report. Just listening to a lot of X, as I seem to have to take at least one piece with me each day for the drive.

For some reason, I've grown quite fond of the Orchestral Works from 1990-91, namely, Kyania, Krinoidi, and Roai. Their kaleidoscopic colors (iridescent in Krinoidi, dark and threatening in Roai) and constantly changing parts flow from beginning to end as if in a magma flow. Kyania, and the vocal work Knephas, most exhibit these tapestry like patterns.

These pieces have little of the classic X sound, other than the relentless science of it all, but one senses here going beyond conquered lands and charting new explorations in what seems like the microscopic world.

Ever since Jonchaies, I have heard the cries of a dying world in Xenakis. In Lichens, we hear continents coming together and tearing apart, worlds being born. In these works from the '90s, we have inner explorations of these new lands. Krinoidi is based on those chalice shaped sea creatures, and one can hear the shimmers of sunlight on the top of the water as one can peer down into a deep and varied sea bed. This is one of X's most luminous scores.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Sid on March 13, 2011, 07:24:19 PM
I acquired the two disc set below of some of Xenakis' chamber and solo instrumental music in December and have been getting into it bit by bit since. Morsima-Amorsima For Piano, Violin, Cello & Double-Bass & ST 4 For String Quartet are the two works I've been mainly listening to, as they are closest in instrumentation to the more traditional repertoire. The structure of his music seems to be based on a series of crescendos, peaks and troughs, so it's high in contrast. Funny how the strings are played pizzicato in the string quartet, which reminds me a bit of Beethoven's Harp Quartet. I plan to listen to this more bit by bit, because it's quite intense stuff. I usually listen to a disc straight through on the same day on which I buy it, but with this it's been different because it's more difficult to absorb fully in that way. The works for 10 and 16 instruments on the disc seem quite complex, so I'm beginning with the smaller scale works...

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on March 14, 2011, 03:00:05 AM
The structure of his music seems to be based on a series of crescendos, peaks and troughs, so it's high in contrast. Funny how the strings are played pizzicato in the string quartet, which reminds me a bit of Beethoven's Harp Quartet.

ST/4 and Morsima-Amorsima are stochastic music, composed with probability functions governing durations of sequences, density of sounds, instrumentation (including whether the instrument should produce a glissando) and the finer-grained details of the event produced by each instrument (pitch, pitch curve, duration and dynamics). I like ST/4 a lot (even though my favourite SQ is Tetras), and it is interesting to compare with the other ST pieces--especially ST/48 since it is for much larger forces (48 instruments, as indicated by its name).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on March 14, 2011, 03:04:38 AM
There is this X docu ..



...which I heartily recommend :). It is a good way of getting a sense of Xenakis the person and see footage of some places he's been along with some of the buildings he designed, which you can't really get from books and articles, however extensive your library may be.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 17, 2011, 06:28:28 AM
New 10th Anniversary 4 disc box ..

(http://cdn.tower.jp/za/o/42/028948049042.jpg)

CD1
1 Metastasis (1953-54)
2 Diamorphoses (1957)
3 Concret PH (1958)
4 Analogique A and B (1958-59)
5 Orient - Occident (1960)
6 Morsima amorsima (1956-62)
7 Nomos Alpha (1965)
8 Anaktoria (1969)

Rosbaud Hans (conductor), Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra (1)
Shefaru Pierre (conductor), French music research group (2-5)
Jacqueline Mefano (piano) (6)
Siegfried Palm (cello) (7)
Paris Quintet eight (6,8)


CD2
1 Nuits (1967-68)
2 Persephassa (1969)
3 Synaphaï (1969)
4 Aroura (1971)

Marcel Kuro (conductor), French National Radio Chorus members (1)
Strasbourg Percussion Ensemble (2)
Geoffrey Douglas Madge (piano) (3,4)
Elgar Howarth (Conductor), New Philharmonia Orchestra (3,4)


CD3
1 Antikhthon (1971)
2 Persepolis (1971)

Elgar Howarth (conductor) New Philharmonia Orchestra (1)
Iannis Xenakis (2)


CD4
1 Charisma (1971)
2 Mikka (1972) - Mikka "S" (1975)
3 Mists (1981)
4 Keren (1986)
5 Keqrops (1986)
6 Oophaa (1989)
7 O-mega (1997)

Alan Damien (clarinet) (1)
Stroke Pierre (cello) (1)
Richard Le Dizesu Marivonnu (violin) (2)
Claude Helffer (piano) (3)
Benny Surachin (trombone) (4)
Roger Woodward (piano) (5)
Claudio Abbado (Conductor), Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchestra (5)
Elisabeth Chojnacka (harpsichord) (6)
Silvio Gualda (percussion) (6)
Oze Laurent (percussion) (7)
Dominique mi (Conductor), Ensemble FA (7)


Just saw that on Amazon.fr. As one can see, it is the culling of the old Accord cd, the Benny Sluchin Accord cd, the Howarth cd available elsewhere, the Abbado DG cd, and so forth. The only piece I can't place is the O-Mega with D. My.

I wasn't as disappointed as I could have been. Was I really going to believe that anyone would record four discs of brand new stuff? You should SEE the way I wait with baited breath for ANY new Xenakis recording, no matter how lame! ::) I really NEED to hear some unheard Xenakis,... NOW!!! :o

I've been bugging Mode Records as to when the next installment of their series will be available,... to no avail. :'(

Ahhh,... how about a recording of Alax, for three instrumental groups? Or Sea-Change? Or Koiroanoi? Or Kai? Or Kullienn?

It's Obama's fault. ;)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: MingusMonk on April 18, 2011, 06:41:47 AM
Can anyone tell me where this set is available to be purchased?  I can't find it anywhere.  Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 18, 2011, 04:37:06 PM
Can anyone tell me where this set is available to be purchased?  I can't find it anywhere.  Thanks in advance.

I thought I saw it on amazon.uk or amazon.fr.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 18, 2011, 05:12:37 PM
Kraanerg (1968) @75mins.

for 23 instruments and 4-channel tape


There are now five recordings of this most uncompromising, noisy, and... I'm at a loss, it's a behemoth, that's for sure! Instrumental sections are separated by tape sections (comprised of manipulated instrumental sounds (possibly from the recording of the rehearsals)), but that is of little use to the listener, who is merely swept up by the maelstrom and carried through as if in a tornado. Implacable would be a good word.

The first recording, made at the time, ended up on that five Lp Erato set of Xenakis's music, that one can find in abundance on Ebay. The secord recording, made twenty years later, helmed by Roger Woodward (Etcetera label; with the red cover!), is the recording I've been familiar with now for about ten years (of course, I rarely,... rarely ::) listen to it, as it's one, unbroken, 75min., track).

And recently, we've been given the ST-X Ensemble (Bornstein) on Asphodel, the Basel something on ColLegno, and the Callithumpian Consort (Drury) on Mode. The Asphodel and Mode releases band the piece at every tape entry, which is why I finally plunked down the change to have something to compare with the Etcetera.

Now, the Etcetera release has always suffered from a curiously low wattage recording. The piece begins with the same signal rhythms that start off Akrata, and on the Etcetera recording, one immediately hears the lack of impact. I must admit to having listened to this piece very very... ok, maybe 2-4 times, simply because it's 75mins. of brutality, unbroken. So, having read some Amazon reviews, I chose the Mode recording.

Immediately, one hears the full impact of the opening (the orange cd says, PLAY LOUD). I only made it to track 11 (out of 21) before I had to "turn it OFF!! >:D" (teehee ;D), but, already I had more of the piece than I ever had with the Etcetera. I didn't even know there were silences in this piece! Track 9, in particular, had a lot of bits going on that had my attention. I must admit, that, still, this piece is a marathon. It really does sound like a maelstrom, a tornado of sound that never really lets up; however, there aaare islands that really sound like the heart of the piece. There are definitely 'moments'. For such grey, industrial sounding music, the piece begins to reveal hidden peace. It does make me feel like 1968: the protests, the smog, the utter Newness.

I get the feeling a few of you will say this is your favorite Xenakis piece. For some reason, it reminds me of Planet of the Apes, or some other forbidding Futurist Saga. Xenakis was such a Utopian, but to the layman, his must most certainly reflect the 'sound' of Dystopia. Maybe this would have been a good alternative soundtrack to Blade Runner? I certainly feel more the Philip K. Dick whilst listening to this (I keep wanting to say chaotic) music.

Anyhow, what we have here is (in the Mode recording) almost 78mins. of uber uncompromising music for ensemble and 4-channel tape, that plays without a break. That's 25 words or less, no?

Who amongst you is worthy?

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on April 18, 2011, 09:02:35 PM
Kraanerg (1968) @75mins.

for 23 instruments and 4-channel tape

(...)

And recently, we've been given the ST-X Ensemble (Bornstein) on Asphodel, the Basel something on ColLegno, and the Callithumpian Consort (Drury) on Mode. The Asphodel and Mode releases band the piece at every tape entry, which is why I finally plunked down the change to have something to compare with the Etcetera.

Now, the Etcetera release has always suffered from a curiously low wattage recording. (...) So, having read some Amazon reviews, I chose the Mode recording.

Thanks for the write-up. Kraanerg is probably the only one of the "widely" available Xenakis pieces that I don't have yet, precisely because my initial impressions of the Etcetera haven't been that great (from a CD sound point of view). Your description of the Mode will make me order that one.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Sylph on April 19, 2011, 07:03:44 AM
How about Jonchaies? ;D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 19, 2011, 06:42:54 PM
How about Jonchaies? ;D

It's Xenakis's Freebird!!

I'd say it reminds me of Cape Canaveral. The reeds... the rockets...

Certainly, it has one of the most recognizable Xenakis openings: the Pelog scale in all its glory. And then... the Thunderstorm!! :o Yes, after this piece, it certainly feels like after a spring thunderstorm.

The Timpani recording really is nice. And, Lichens does make the perfect follow-up.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 19, 2011, 07:01:45 PM
Thanks for the write-up. Kraanerg is probably the only one of the "widely" available Xenakis pieces that I don't have yet, precisely because my initial impressions of the Etcetera haven't been that great (from a CD sound point of view). Your description of the Mode will make me order that one.

Watch your speakers on this one,... wow!! :o, or the bass response'll getcha!! I thought I was having car problems! :o

I really like the banding on the Mode. Today I listened to tracks 12-19 in the car, and there are lots of nice little pools of things going on. I especially like the silences, haha: no, they really are strategic. Seriously, there are a lot of notes in this music!

Why would this piece remind me of Stockhausen? James? Maybe I shouldn't? :-*
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Sylph on April 20, 2011, 12:35:15 AM
It's Xenakis's Freebird!!

I'd say it reminds me of Cape Canaveral. The reeds... the rockets...

Certainly, it has one of the most recognizable Xenakis openings: the Pelog scale in all its glory. And then... the Thunderstorm!! :o Yes, after this piece, it certainly feels like after a spring thunderstorm.

The Timpani recording really is nice. And, Lichens does make the perfect follow-up.

(http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-laughing002.gif) (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

That's exactly how it is!

By the way, just in case someone needs to check, are there anywhere translations of his titles?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on April 20, 2011, 01:15:00 AM
By the way, just in case someone needs to check, are there anywhere translations of his titles?

Some are available at the official site:
http://www.iannis-xenakis.org/xen/read/listen.html
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 21, 2011, 12:04:09 PM
Actually, there's two relatively newish versions of the piece, and I believe that's Roger Woodward playing the first recording of Evryali on BVhaast (from '77, I think). Also, we have Philip Howard (Divine Art; 2003) on an album entitled 'Decoding Skin', which also features Finnissy and Feldman amongst others.

The samples promised that Howard had the measure of the piece, and that he was at least as fleet as Aki Takahashi on Mode. Howard's opening is as nuanced as anything, though, he appears to finish very well ahead of all the competition. Perhaps as a result, Howard uses a totally different technique than Ms. Takahashi,... or, maybe it's the recording. Howard is given quite a perfect recording, I think, with just enough air to absorb those violent high notes. The WaterMusic aspect of this piece certainly comes to the fore here.

The recording, and performance, work together to reveal a lot of inner detail that strains the ears on other recordings (the Denon/Yuji Takahashi recording is pretty clinical too, though not as atmospheric). Bass, mids, and treble register equally well, to underscore the immense difficulty of the piece. In some things, Howard seems determined to rectify problems that I'VE had with other recordings, so good is Mr. Howard at satisfying the Judges, haha!

I'd say this is a Great Recording&Performance to bounce the Aki Takahashi off. Ms. Takahashi still comes out with the most pristine experience, but Mr. Howard offers a veritable tutorial, and does offer a playing style that does give a slightly different angle to the piece. Individual recordings of Evryali are rare (only one or two I can think of), so, technically, this is a BigEvent, and I'm treating it as such. Howard's Evryali is certainly one of the Best Overall versions (incl. YouTube), and only comes in right alongside Ms. Takahashi. The other Complete survey is by Marc Pontus, which I've only heard promising samples (though the recording may not be as fine as the others).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on June 01, 2011, 12:36:49 PM
In July des nouvelles flâneries musicales de Reims will be performing 50 pieces by Xenakis, including concerts by the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, the JACK String Quartet and the Orchestre National de Lille with Arturo Tamayo, among others.

The schedule is here (http://www.flaneriesreims.com/we-xenakis-les-flaneries-musicales-de-reims.html) (click on the dates in red).

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on June 01, 2011, 02:35:12 PM
In July des nouvelles flâneries musicales de Reims will be performing 50 pieces by Xenakis, including concerts by the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, the JACK String Quartet and the Orchestre National de Lille with Arturo Tamayo, among others.

The schedule is here (http://www.flaneriesreims.com/we-xenakis-les-flaneries-musicales-de-reims.html) (click on the dates in red).

Amazing program!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 18, 2011, 08:19:00 PM
In the wake of Karl's first, Unsupervised, Xenakis purchase,... it appears to be Pleiades and another mystery disc,... I feel compelled to begin a Standardized Xenakis Purchasing Guide. I'm going to assume we all know which are the Xenakis recordings to get, so I'm going to unilaterally speak for us all:





haha





1) 'Musique de Chambre (1955-1990)' Helffer/ Arditti SQ Montaigne2CD

You must buy this. No questions.

2) 'Xenakis: Ensemble InterContemporain' Erato/ Apex2CD

You must buy this. No questions.

3) 'Orchestral Works' Box Set: Tamayo Timpani5CD

You must buy this. No questions.

4) 'Original Recordings' various Editions RZ2CD

You must buy this. No questions.

5) 'Complete String Quartets' JACK Quartet ModeCD

Good alternative. Good first cd.

6) Complete Works of Varese

Suggested simultaneous purchase.

7) 'Works for Piano' Aki Takahashi ModeCD

Suggested compulsory buy, along with JACK Quartet, as an alternative to the Montaigne set.

8) 'Kraanerg' ModeCD

For the truly adventurous, or crazy, this may be a first purchase. Not for haters.


I think we'll keep it there. So, what do the gnostics think? Isn't this the obvious road for the neophyte (plus, we kept it at, basically, seven choices, a good roundup)? Maybe you could add the 2CD Mode percussion set, though, most of those pieces are better served piecemeal. Perhaps the ColLegno 'Greatest Hits' cd, but I'd save that for later. No, I think this is THE List.

There, I had to get that off my chest.




No?

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: karlhenning on June 19, 2011, 03:34:38 AM
In the wake of Karl's first, Unsupervised, Xenakis purchase,... it appears to be Pleiades and another mystery disc,...

The Pleiades is that on Harmonia Mundi, so, truly, unauthorized ; )

The other is Synaphai &c.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 19, 2011, 04:35:28 AM
The Pleiades is that on Harmonia Mundi, so, truly, unauthorized ; )

The other is Synaphai &c.

The second is that Howarth disc? Yes, that IS approved!! ;)

Anyhow, on the HM, please don't then judge the sonics (not that they are particularly bad, just very claustrophobic. The Denon performance is very similar but has a 'proper' sound surrounding the instruments.).

John11inch has put most of Xenakis on YouTube as it is.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 19, 2011, 04:43:04 AM
CHAMBER & INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC
If you're new to Xenakis, perhaps the best place to start is with his chamber and instrumental works, which are less dense and demanding than his larger-scale pieces. Nomos Alpha (First Law) for solo cello replaces scales and traditional harmonies with a sound continuum that places great demands on the player. It extends the dynamic range of the instrument by the use of rapid glissandi and the overlaying of low notes with high-pitched harmonics. From the mid-1970s onwards, Xenakis abandoned strict mathematical processes in favour of a more expressionistic, though still abstract, musical language. Ikhoor (1978) for string trio is full of gratingly harsh sequences of sounds, and obsessively repeated rhythms whose raw but controlled energy recalls the pulsating dynamism and ethereal beauty of Bartók's late string quartets. Evryali (1973) for solo piano is more lyrical, despite is toccata-like propulsion, which forms a constant tension with the ringing and often delicate sonorities. More recent works, like the 1990 string quartet Tetora, have an austerity and terseness of utterance, occassionally tempered by fragments of melody.


This nicely packaged set provides a revealing introductory compendium of Xenakis's work, including all the pieces discussed above. The Arditti Quartet play to their customarily high standards and, in pianist Claude Helffer, Xenakis has an advocate with the technique and insight to make his glittering piano works sparkle with an extra brilliance.

I remember picking this up at Tower, thinking, "Hm, 2 cds,... this looks like some pretty out-there stuff,... this should keep me busy." Well, it still is probably my Number One Disc, along with the other Xenakis 2cd set, the Boulez/Erato-Apex.

The 'personality' revealed on this set is so... unique, so willful, so "me, and no one else".

Haha, I still love the old 'Big Box' for this set, though. You feel like you're holding something.


Still kinda depressed that no new, official Xenakis recordings are on the horizon. I'm sure we'll be getting another Mode here soon, but I'm still holding out for something special (boy am I spoiled ::)). Would love to hear Alax, Koiroanoi(sic), Sea-Change, and the rest of the 'unheard ofs'.

ahhh...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: karlhenning on June 19, 2011, 04:47:52 AM
The second is that Howarth disc? Yes, that IS approved!! ;)

Ebbene
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on June 19, 2011, 05:43:09 AM
Yea that set is thee perfect distillation of the essence what Xenakis was all about, and it's brought off so well. I prefer Xenakis for smaller more intimate forces like that - his pieces for larger bands aren't that convincing to my ears (for the most part); they're clumsy & unfocused.

That set is also a personal favorite. Unfortunately, the recordings of the works for larger forces aren't usually that good and muddle things up; for instance, the Chant du Monde one turned me off Metastasis and Pithoprakta (not to mention Eonta, which is for small ensemble and doesn't really work on that CD). Totally unbearable. The set on Timpani does a lot to address that, but I must say that the Edition RZ double CD is absolutely breathtaking--Syrmos, Terretektorh and Nomos Gamma work really well on that one.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: karlhenning on June 19, 2011, 05:47:26 AM
. . . must say that the Edition RZ double CD is absolutely breathtaking--Syrmos, Terretektorh and Nomos Gamma work really well on that one.

What, no link?! ; )
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on June 19, 2011, 06:09:40 AM
What, no link?! ; )

http://elbehnon.de/edition/190-104,2,0.html
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: karlhenning on June 19, 2011, 03:14:50 PM
Thanks!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: karlhenning on June 21, 2011, 01:44:49 PM
Anyone have this one? What do you think?

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 21, 2011, 06:29:04 PM
Anyone have this one? What do you think?



Yes Karl, you have to get it. >:( (that's my stern smiley face, haha)


Seriously, I'm constantly listening to that cd. Aki Takahashi's phenomenal talent is put to extraordinary use through Xenakis's 'inhuman' musings. Strickly for her contribution alone, along with one of the most awesomely re-mastered piano images I've every heard (be sure to buy it new,... the old 'cut out' doesn't have the new re-mastering). The sense of 'tickling' I get from hearing each notes have its own personal bubble is what I love about piano timbre.

First, you get three main Works for piano, from three different stylistic periods, and then you get a 'chamber concerto' and the 'violin sonata',... aaand, on the re-mastered version, 'pre-historic' pieces that sound like normal music (Bartokian). So, on top of everything else, this cd is ridiculously well filled! Don't forget the Ravelian encore.

Then, of course, there are the notes that constitute the pieces. Frankly, Evryali has become one of my AllTimeFavs, I just can't stop listening to this piece. Aki's (not to be confused with her brother and fellow Xenakis interpreter Yuji). Mists, too,... and most especially in this performance,... leaves impressions of bubbling vapors of smoke. Takahashi plays all with easy grace,... I'll say 'awesome' grace,... that leaves me simply listening to her. Sure she can play Feldman and Cage. Here, the effect is more Olympian.

Out of the 7 cds that I consider the core Xenakis Library (ok, include that Editions RZ too! ;)), this cd is 'the' alternative to the piano music on the Arditti set with Halffer. Or should I say, Halffer is 'the' alternative to Takahashi? If this were boxing or a cooking show, Takahshi just WINS man, she just wins everything. Compare her with her brother, hmm, that's something.

Evryali (1973)

For me, this is The Single Modern Piano Piece. First, it gain ALL respect for a Modern piece by starting of Totally Diatonically (in 1973!), sounding like a cross between Ravel and boogie-woogie, or something funny like that. It soon becomes clear that this simple, mechanical melody is going to fly apart, and from there, I suppose, the rest of the piece,... I don't know, the melody never returns,... I think the way I would describe is, Evryali is one of the Gorgon sister, I think, and she has many arms, and lives under the water, so, in a way, the music does sound like the many armed musings of this water goddess. I totally ascribe this piece Greatest Water Music Ever.

This is the piece that has an 'unplayable' section,... I don't know where it is, but I suspect one or two places. These would be the places where even it sounds like Takahashi would LIKE to hit a couple more notes,... but, I think it lends to the end-of-the-world atmosphere.

What other Avant piano piece communicates like this one? No other Modern Master used Diatonic materials like this, organizing all that bleep-bloop complexity into this scientific simplicity (easy to understand, impossibly hard to play). I know some may argue with me here (Stockhausen, Boulez, Castiglioni, Bussotti, Babbitt, Denisov, Ligeti, Berio,...ok, Donatoni ( ;D), et al,...), but, this is The One. Perhaps one is reminded of Finnissy in places, but I don't know...

This just came to me. Does this work for you?: Ligeti + Ravel? Something like that? Think of Ligeti's fast Etudes, but stuff changes instead of sticking with one idea. The type of movement is there, but the ideas are always changing and morphing.


I knows others may be more critical, but I think this single cd is The-Best-Piano-CD-Ever.

BUY IT.

BUY IT NOW.

(and then tell us about on the CDCDCD) :P

I DON'T HEAR YOU CLICKING!! :-*


RAUSCH!!SCHNELL!!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: karlhenning on June 22, 2011, 04:02:29 AM
Are you naturally evil, or just a quick study? ; )
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 22, 2011, 04:09:25 AM
Are you naturally evil, or just a quick study? ; )

My job is done here. ;) Enjoy!,... tee hee
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2011, 03:39:19 PM
This is a good two-part interview with Xenakis in his last years. Very interesting:

Part 1:

http://www.youtube.com/v/j4nj2nklbts

Part 2:

http://www.youtube.com/v/zukz4KcouNg&feature=related
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2011, 04:07:55 PM
Has anyone seen this documentary?


Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on September 12, 2011, 04:18:39 PM
Has anyone seen this documentary?



Yes, I have it... http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,839.msg497661.html#msg497661
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2011, 04:22:05 PM
Yes, I have it... http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,839.msg497661.html#msg497661

Thanks I'll check this post out. 8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on September 12, 2011, 04:26:52 PM
Thanks I'll check this post out. 8)

Not that much content in that post ;). But the DVD is worth it.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2011, 04:31:25 PM
Not that much content in it ;). But the DVD is worth it.

By the way, do you own the Timpani 5-CD set? I ordered it tonight. Any comments in regards to this set will be appreciated. Thanks.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on September 12, 2011, 04:43:09 PM
By the way, do you own the Timpani 5-CD set? I ordered it tonight. Any comments in regards to this set will be appreciated. Thanks.

Yes, I do, although when I got it it wasn't a set yet (got the 5 volumes separately). It's an excellent bundle of Xenakis' orchestral music, with a few notable omissions (which you can fill by getting the Xenakis on Edition RZ). That and the Arditti/Helffer chamber music release are probably the best multi-CD sets of Xenakis.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: not edward on September 12, 2011, 04:59:55 PM
Yes, I do, although when I got it it wasn't a set yet (got the 5 volumes separately). It's an excellent bundle of Xenakis' orchestral music, with a few notable omissions (which you can fill by getting the Xenakis on Edition RZ). That and the Arditti/Helffer chamber music release are probably the best multi-CD sets of Xenakis.
Seconded on this and the Arditti/Helffer set (I bought volumes 1-3 of the Timpani series on release; still don't have 4 and 5). The one warning I have to give with the Timpani set is that Spyros Sakkas' voice had deteriorated badly by the time of the recording of Ais on Timpani; this collection on col legno (a disc which someone who shall remain nameless borrowed from me and then lost :P) showcases him in his prime, with very interesting couplings;

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2011, 05:10:52 PM
Yes, I do, although when I got it it wasn't a set yet (got the 5 volumes separately). It's an excellent bundle of Xenakis' orchestral music, with a few notable omissions (which you can fill by getting the Xenakis on Edition RZ). That and the Arditti/Helffer chamber music release are probably the best multi-CD sets of Xenakis.

Thanks, petrarch. I'll check those out.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2011, 05:12:10 PM
Seconded on this and the Arditti/Helffer set (I bought volumes 1-3 of the Timpani series on release; still don't have 4 and 5). The one warning I have to give with the Timpani set is that Spyros Sakkas' voice had deteriorated badly by the time of the recording of Ais on Timpani; this collection on col legno (a disc which someone who shall remain nameless borrowed from me and then lost :P) showcases him in his prime, with very interesting couplings;



Thanks Edward for your help. I'll check that one out.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 15, 2011, 06:20:16 AM
Seconded on this and the Arditti/Helffer set (I bought volumes 1-3 of the Timpani series on release; still don't have 4 and 5). The one warning I have to give with the Timpani set is that Spyros Sakkas' voice had deteriorated badly by the time of the recording of Ais on Timpani; this collection on col legno (a disc which someone who shall remain nameless borrowed from me and then lost :P) showcases him in his prime, with very interesting couplings;



Hoooow many recordings of Ais do we have now?? ??? I agree that the ColLegno 'singing' is much better,... how about that initial 'scream'?,... that's shows you everything right there. The piece was never one of my favorites, but this ColLegno version showcases a very 'ancient' sounding work, very dark, and slightly in Xenakis's 'Greek' style. It is also very pictorial, with the 'horse' neighing and galloping percussion. The very low 'hell' voice does actually sound like a voice speaking from the UnderWorld.

The Erato LP that this Ais was originally on contained also the massive Choral/Orchestral Work Nekuia, which has YET to be transferred to cd. This is certainly the one unheard Xenakis piece that I'm chomping at the bit to hear. Would soooomeone get the tapes from Warners?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: listener on September 24, 2011, 10:53:13 PM
not my thing, but I'm not against it... so fyi:
a Xenakis celebration in Vancouver, BC Oct. 20-22
http://www.bccreativehub.com/?p=908
   film, dance, and performances, includes Phlegra, Anaktoria, Persephassa, ST-4/1.080262, Psappha, Mists, Herma, Tetora and Ergma
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 26, 2011, 07:48:37 PM
Complete Works for Cello (+1)


Here is a Xenakis sighting, on the Aeon label, but have I seen it on Amazon yet? This one I initially rolled my eyes at, but, it does have crucial second recordings of some of the later pieces.

Nomos Alpha
Charisma
Kottos
Epicycles (chamber concerto)
Paille in the Wind*
Roscobeck*
Inumen-Idhuey(?)*
Dphpli Zyia(?)*


That's actually a pretty nice recital, no? The last three duos have needed new recordings. And, when you think about it, the 'Complete Violin Music' wouldn't make sense, so, this IS the album that would materialize like this. We have 'Complete Piano', and 'Complete Percussion'. I still think Mode will do a 'String Solos, Duos, & Trio' cd.


Then, I saw a very strange 'Xenakis' cd, I think on Amazon.uk, that I don't really think is a Xenakis album at all. I'll look for it again.

Still, no earth shattering 'New Release' news. :'(

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 27, 2011, 05:11:33 AM
I've listened to a lot of Xenakis and I only like his Akrata (16 winds). It is a very refined work, more minimalist, but much of his other music if you can call it that, is just noise. He was a good composer but like a lot of modern composers did a lot of music that is just ugly and unrefined and a waste of his good talents.

Yea, people who don't like IX would like that piece. It's actually quite pacific. Didn't like Kekrops? With me, I think I must have broken through some wall, because now all this stuff is just second nature to me.


I was listening to Dox-Orkh, my least favorite IX piece,... most people would haaave to agree, no?,... and even it begins to grow on me a little.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 28, 2011, 05:11:17 AM
Pleased to meet you, snyprrr. I think that though I really like Akrata, I also like other things by Xenakis, but not as much. His solo piano music is good, but more dark and noisy with high pitches sometimes. Akrata makes me think of being in a desert. It is beautiful but without life. It can be lonely. I dont like his orchestral music that much. Metastasis is not too bad, but it is too detailed. I think because Akrata he uses only winds it is simpler to get the emotions. I like simple music with more emotions.

His piece Epei, for wind quintet plus string bass, is 100 times more static than Akrata, as if Akrata had flown into a bowl of jello!. Also, the choral piece a'Helene is written in normal 'plainchant' style, not a note out of place.

L'Isle de Goree and Ata are two very straightforward works that lay bare many of X's concerns for the lay ear.

And, of course, the percussion music is in its own class.


However, X has plenty of stuff no one WANTS to hear, haha,... I NEED to, but sometimes don't want to. Take the radio-play Pour la Paix.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on September 28, 2011, 09:51:01 AM
However, X has plenty of stuff no one WANTS to hear, haha,... I NEED to, but sometimes don't want to. Take the radio-play Pour la Paix.
Are you saying you haven't heard this one? Have you heard every Xenakis piece recorded yet?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 28, 2011, 06:54:08 PM
Are you saying you haven't heard this one? Have you heard every Xenakis piece recorded yet?

I think it's on YouTube.

I'm still slavering to hear the same pieces everyone else in this musical serfdom wants to hear. ;) Of the older works, Nekuia stands out (it's on an Erato LP,... with the same Ais as on the new ColLegno cd). It's a huge work, and I can only imagine.

Many of the later works still remain unheard by The Us. There hasn't been a Mode cd in over a year now. I'm not worrying. ???
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on September 28, 2011, 07:36:25 PM
Many of the later works still remain unheard by The Us. There hasn't been a Mode cd in over a year now. I'm not worrying. ???
I'm not optimistic about them coming out any time soon...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 06, 2011, 07:36:44 PM
GOOD NEWS FINALLY!!


Nekuia, X's 'funeral rites' for chorus and orchestra is finally on YouTube! I am saving for a Romantic Moment, but, I am giddy with excitement. There are still major work that haven't been bequeathed to us, but this is very good news indeed. Will return...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 07, 2011, 11:16:35 AM
GOOD NEWS FINALLY!!


Nekuia, X's 'funeral rites' for chorus and orchestra is finally on YouTube! I am saving for a Romantic Moment, but, I am giddy with excitement. There are still major work that haven't been bequeathed to us, but this is very good news indeed. Will return...

NEKUIA (26:54) for SATB chorus & orchestra


This piece starts out for all the world to hear as gloomy Romantic Penderecki. I'm shocked, and wondering... ah, no, now I hear the pelog theme that opens Jonchaies.

Now the choir chimes in in typical Xenakis phoneme fashion, along with some nice sustained notes, very dramatic and epic sounding. This piece already has a much different ambience than either one of the other two chorus & orchestra pieces, Cendrees, and Anemoessa (which I gloried over earlier).


After a while, there is a break, and then... is that a cor anglais solo? This translates into a wind soliloquy, until the choir returns in a very melodious counterpoint to the winds. Here I'm hearing snippets of other Xenakis compositions.

Now the brass take over, in what sounds more like the millipede repetitions of the late Kyania. Here too, the choir joins after a while. After more sonic maelstrom, there is another pause.


Now we enter a very ominous and hectic movement for percussion and the orchestra, which contains some very concerning Xenakis music. Here, the choir interrupts very effectively. As this section continues, the choir ends, and there is a sense of descending.

Now we enter a section reminiscent of the typical Xenakis toccata of Kottos, Rebonds, Ikhoor, and Ata (sounds most like Ata). This section continues to an abrupt end,... and... then continues in the strings... with longer note values tearing at the rhythm. A sonic maelstrom ensues, though, honestly, this is quite a melodious work so far!

I'm hearing bits of Horos, of a great complexity unfolding, all at a very slow tempo. This grinds to a more halting pattern until the initial toccata rhythm and the halting rhythm battle?,... huh?,...(I can't see how far along we are)...

If these are indeed 'funeral rites', then, the high, ghostly sopranos seem to sound like sirens in the wind. This is so far the most evocative section of the work.

All of the elements since the toccata section began are all furiously mixed up in a cyclonic whirlpool which do sound as if one were rocketing through the tunnel to the afterlife, things and sounds whizzing by you as you careen towards...what?


We seem to be entering a new section with the introduction of a percussion hit. This section hightens the creepiness of the earlier, percussion dominated, section. Here we have string work reminiscent of the opening of the string trio Ikhoor.

Now we have what sounds like the Golden Section leading up to a climax. The lady singers here do some cool stuff, then being augmented. This sounds a bit like Anemoessa.

Wow, there's just so much going on here. Forget what I said about a climax, haha, this section just keeps jelling more and more, and getting thicker and thicker. Finally I hear some tympani bongs. Now... it gets thicker and thicker... and... and... ok, now it just ends.






Wow, that was something. This sounded like the most sonically molten score by Xenakis I think I've heard. If it is like a 'Hades' Symphony with chorus, it surely delivers an eerie and edge-of-your-chair ride across the river Styx. I'm really impressed, but I can tell I got a bit of huuuh? in there. There was literally so much going on. whew... great... I've finally heard the long lost piece...

The recording, which I presume is the Erato LP, is serviceable, with the choir not so up front (which is fine for here). Certainly sooomeone should release this with Cendrees.

Anyhow, I welcome any discussion. 8)

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 07, 2011, 01:01:56 PM
I can't find it on youtube- do you have a link?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 07, 2011, 02:26:06 PM
I can't find it on youtube- do you have a link?

Yes, very strange. From the Yahoo HP, I punch in 'Xenakis Nekuia', and it's the first thing, but, on YT, nothing. Strange. Try from Yahoo.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 07, 2011, 02:33:34 PM
btw- tomorrow that new 'Complete Cello Music' comes out!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 07, 2011, 07:59:01 PM
That search did work!  :o
I'll listen to this soon.

http://www.youtube.com/v/tWsGAF3V2KM
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 08, 2011, 06:43:56 AM
btw- tomorrow that new 'Complete Cello Music' comes out!

Ordered 12:01 am!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 08, 2011, 06:45:02 AM
That search did work!  :o
I'll listen to this soon.

http://www.youtube.com/v/tWsGAF3V2KM

Great! Can't wait to hear your verdict.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 08, 2011, 08:28:56 AM
Great! Can't wait to hear your verdict.
I listened to both that and Serment-Orkos last night.

Nekuia is very much un-Xenakis-like in terms of overall mood throughout. It's more Penderecki-ish, but has some recognizable Xenakis characteristics, if you're familiar enough with the music.
Serment-Orkos- I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, being a Xenakis choral work. Simply well done.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 12, 2011, 06:23:10 AM
The Last Works of Xenakis: Zythos & O-Mega


Zythos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Wqu7YXFZoE

O-Mega:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwmQTKGJhxw



Well, I finally heard Zythos, the mysteriously never recorded work written for Christian Lindberg and Les Percussions de Strassborg. It is 8mins, scored for trombone and...six! :o marimbas... and I heard that this was going to be a brutal piece, with hammering marimba notes.

Well, I have to say that Zythos may be the suckiest Xenakis piece I've ever heard. And by sucky, I mean, well, listen for yourself. Frankly, I am shocked by its kindergarden way. One note at a time? What did one need six marimbas for? Basically, X's writing for solo trombone is very strange to begin with (Keren, Troorkh), and the trombone writing here is no different. It sounds simplistic, but, I am assured that it is as difficult to play as it gets.

The marimba parts are really the head scratcher here. I thought the piece would have been a fury of marimba tremolos, but, in true Late Xenakis fashion, this only occurs briefly before the ending. Otherwise, the marimbas hammer out one note at a time, in the most annoying IX tradition. I'll admit that the piece, by the end, does exhibit a certain cosmic ennui (though the recording doesn't take advantage), a sad commentary, perhaps, by X on the state of the world?

So, I shaved my legs for this? Well, the recording is serviceable, but it sure would be nice to see what Lindberg and the LPDS sound like (uh, BIS??). I await your shock.



O-Mega, X's very last work, also has a tired cosmic view. The piece starts out with a rat-a-tat-tat on the tom toms, and the drums continue on in this fashion for the pieces 4min duration. The ensemble continues on in the herky jerky, four square fashion of later pieces such as Waarg and Epicycles. Though there is a sense of 'orbits' going on, interest in this piece is just as limited as the previous piece. Xenakis seems to have completely lost all sense of his old self. I was overwhelmingly disappointed when I first heard this piece.

Still, the ending is poignant. The same 'machine breaking down' sound that ends the rhythmic part of Rebonds ends O-Mega. Especially in the Auzet recording, this ending comes across beatufully, as if the 'molecules' are falling through the 'cracks', going down... down... down.



Other late pieces by X are of differing yet similar values. The string pieces are incredibly dissonant, totally different from the essentially pacific character of these two pieces. But, these two pieces are to me like the strangest and saddest ending to an amazing career, I just don't WANT to get it (I think I do). What do you think?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 12, 2011, 02:22:02 PM
Yeah, Zythos is teh suck. Omega is okay.
I may have to work on getting all of his stuff. It says I have 115 of his works, but that includes duplicates, so I'm guessing I have between 70-90?... either way, youtube is awesome right now, and it seems like I should be able to get most of the missing ones from there. I just recently got pretty much everything Prokofiev has to offer, so I guess a new goal would be a good thing...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 12, 2011, 03:08:37 PM
Okay, 37 works left to collect, but I probably should be able to get it down to around 20 by the end of the night.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 12, 2011, 03:11:51 PM
Yeah, Zythos is teh suck. Omega is okay.
I may have to work on getting all of his stuff. It says I have 115 of his works, but that includes duplicates, so I'm guessing I have between 70-90?... either way, youtube is awesome right now, and it seems like I should be able to get most of the missing ones from there. I just recently got pretty much everything Prokofiev has to offer, so I guess a new goal would be a good thing...

The last choral work, Sea Nymphs, is also up! This piece has more of the classic Xenakis hallmarks, and is a lot more fun than other late works. Yes, YT has picked up the slack, but I won't let you rest yet, until we get Alax, Koiranoi, Sea-Change...mm...what else?

I guess I should just be thankful? ???

Getting Nekuia and Zythos definitely answered some questions! I still can't get over how spare Zythos is. (It was named after the beer fest, btw!! :o true- maybe...)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 12, 2011, 04:52:16 PM
The last choral work, Sea Nymphs, is also up! This piece has more of the classic Xenakis hallmarks, and is a lot more fun than other late works. Yes, YT has picked up the slack, but I won't let you rest yet, until we get Alax, Koiranoi, Sea-Change...mm...what else?
Anemoessa, also. I think that was the one that you said could only be attained by purchasing a $50 box set. That one will be in the handful I'll have to leave alone for quite a while. Sea Nymphs indeed is on there- about to get in a few minutes.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 12, 2011, 06:24:40 PM
Well, I have to say that Zythos may be the suckiest Xenakis piece I've ever heard. And by sucky, I mean, well, listen for yourself. Frankly, I am shocked by its kindergarden way. One note at a time? What did one need six marimbas for? Basically, X's writing for solo trombone is very strange to begin with (Keren, Troorkh), and the trombone writing here is no different. It sounds simplistic, but, I am assured that it is as difficult to play as it gets.

The marimba parts are really the head scratcher here. I thought the piece would have been a fury of marimba tremolos, but, in true Late Xenakis fashion, this only occurs briefly before the ending. Otherwise, the marimbas hammer out one note at a time, in the most annoying IX tradition. I'll admit that the piece, by the end, does exhibit a certain cosmic ennui (though the recording doesn't take advantage), a sad commentary, perhaps, by X on the state of the world?

It doesn't suck, to my ears. Yes, the grid-like rhythm, single dynamics and sparse material do not contribute great variety, but I could detect some spatial movement, with notes passing from one instrument to the next. Perhaps that's why he needed six marimbas--to fill the stage left to right with them and then have notes travel from one side to the other. It is not so dreary timbrally, the marimbas providing good contrast with the trombone, with each of the instruments sounding crystal-clear notes and having bare, clear-cut lines.

I don't think Xenakis was commenting on the state of the world. These late pieces were all composed under duress due to his deteriorating health, so their simplicity and short durations, especially of O-Mega, are more likely to be a result of his inability to sustain the effort to compose larger, more complex works.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 12, 2011, 07:34:48 PM
Well, here is the list of works I don't have, after going through youtube.

15 works:
Quote
Anemoessa
Duel
Pour les baleines
Alax
Tuorakemsu
Mosaiques
Koiranoi
Sea-Change
Chant des Soleils
Idmen A/B
Pu wijnuej we fyp
Les Bacchantes
Linaia-Agon
Khall Perr
Kai

Here's someone's blog about Xenakis' works:
http://www.toddtarantino.com/blog/labels/xenakis.html

Quote
Xenakis: Pu Wijnuej we fyp
Pu Wijnuej we fyp (1992): children's choir: After several days of data entry, I was able to hear this piece in Finale. Its an unholy noise that coming out of children would probably be quite demonic. I wonder if andhow this was performed - the score lists a premiere. Cluster chords throughout, so that the kids could basically sing any pitch at some point and they would be right. Quite difficult. And full of nonmusicall anagram syllables of a poem of Rimbaud - there is no informaiton about the cypher. Entering the work though was a major learning experience into Xenakis' methods, like cluster gamelan, or cluster kecak.
:D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 13, 2011, 06:43:30 AM
Well, here is the list of works I don't have, after going through youtube.

15 works:
Here's someone's blog about Xenakis' works:
http://www.toddtarantino.com/blog/labels/xenakis.html
 :D

Kai is on the 'Xenakis in New York' cd. (terrible recording

Khall Perr is on the Wallace Collection cd 'Hammered Brass'. (great recording)... there is also another cd...



Yes, I remember that blog. Will recheck. And that choral piece sounds brutal, haha.



It doesn't suck, to my ears. Yes, the grid-like rhythm, single dynamics and sparse material do not contribute great variety, but I could detect some spatial movement, with notes passing from one instrument to the next. Perhaps that's why he needed six marimbas--to fill the stage left to right with them and then have notes travel from one side to the other. It is not so dreary timbrally, the marimbas providing good contrast with the trombone, with each of the instruments sounding crystal-clear notes and having bare, clear-cut lines.

I don't think Xenakis was commenting on the state of the world. These late pieces were all composed under duress due to his deteriorating health, so their simplicity and short durations, especially of O-Mega, are more likely to be a result of his inability to sustain the effort to compose larger, more complex works.

Which performance have you heard? Only the one on YT?

Well, yes, in context with everything else, Zythos certainly is a very very unique piece. Surely there must be that spacial quality (which I can't really hear on the YT recording)... all those single notes being shared. I would still love to hear the Lindberg/LPDS performing.

I suppose it's just sad that X seemed to go out with such a whimper. Perhaps if someone were to do a recital of only late chamber works, contrasting the pacific pieces with the more grinding pieces, X's last years might come into better focus.

pet- have you heard Sea-Change?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 13, 2011, 06:45:49 AM
btw- I just noticed that Herma, on the IX website, is listed as '10mins.' duration. I'm not sure anyone plays it slower than 7mins. I'm thinking that even I could play it at 10mins. That's something I'd like to hear. One would really be able to pick things apart then, I assume.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 13, 2011, 06:53:40 AM
Ordered 12:01 am!

Hopefully this arrives tomorrow!



I also went ahead... oh, here's a CDCDCD story... you know Vol.5 of the Timpani Cycle, the one with Metastasis (also the one everyone seems to have overlooked)? Well, when it came out in the spring of '09, I was like, no way, it just has duplicates, so, I did forego buying it at $12. Sooooooooooooooooooo,... now I spent $35 to get it from Germany (via sister in UK!!,... shipping is murder!!!!!). So, hopefully my sis WILL send it, haha.

I'm really looking forward to this issue, which has all the early stuff. I've been listening to all the other recordings (of early stuff) to get prepped for the big Xenakis Festival at the house!!... which I'll be taking in 'phases'.

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 13, 2011, 01:58:34 PM
I've been listening to all the other recordings (of early stuff) to get prepped for the big Xenakis Festival at the house!!...
Sounds like it'll be the smallest festival in the world.



Kai is on the 'Xenakis in New York' cd. (terrible recording

Khall Perr is on the Wallace Collection cd 'Hammered Brass'. (great recording)... there is also another cd...

Yes, I remember that blog. Will recheck. And that choral piece sounds brutal, haha.
Cool, thanks for the info!  :)
So, I'm assuming all of the other ones on my list are also ones that haven't been recorded and you haven't heard yet?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 13, 2011, 06:17:28 PM
Sounds like it'll be the smallest festival in the world.


Cool, thanks for the info!  :)
So, I'm assuming all of the other ones on my list are also ones that haven't been recorded and you haven't heard yet?

"Nobody likes Xenakis", haha!! ;)

I forgot: Idmen A/B is on that Erato Pleiades disc, which you should be able to get from Amazon.uk (maybe here too?). Idmen is a wonderful piece (very peaceful actually) for chorus and many percussions, classic Xenakis.


Yes, every other Composer from 'The' Generation has pretty much garnered a Complete Edition, whether by hook or by crook. Frankly, I'll just be gaga until I hear Koiranoi and Sea-Change and Alax and... well, pretty much what's on the list, though these are the pieces I fear for the most. Hopefully a festival will appear on ColLegno, though, frankly, Wergo could stand another Xenakis release. But who's gonna record these Orchestral Works? Aeon looks like a good bet maybe. Kairos?

If you check the big Xenakis site, it shows a couple of interesting recordings that I've certainly never heard of (maybe Greek things?). There actually was a recording of Sea-Change on some Greek label compilation (with Psathis(?) and Lapidakis and...) which you can find a trail of, but is certainly lost somewhere in a warehouse or dump.

Yes, Xenakis's posterity here in these last ten years has had its ups and downs, no doubt.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 14, 2011, 03:41:05 PM
Complete Cello Works (Aeon)
Arne Deforce/ Ensemble MusikFabrik

Nomos Alpha
Charisma
Kottos
Epicycles
Paille in the Wind
Hunem-Iduhey
Roscobeck
Dhipli Zyia



Well here it is! And a very interesting release all around I would say, suitable for those who might not ordinarily attempt this repertoire. The playing is spot on, but it is the recording which really makes this a must have issue: for the first time that I've heard, one really hears all the things going on, from almost in between the strings to a good distance away.

The chamber concerto Epicycles is included (listened twice), and this performance is almost two minutes longer than the reference recording on Bvhaast, with Rohan (yes! he may go by one name!!). The music allows for such taffy pulling, and with the heightened recording, this new version is quite compelling in its own right. I do prefer the Bvhaast performance, being as it appears to be being played at a slightly quicker pace which seems to suit the music just perfectly. This new version, though, does capture a certain cosmic quality, and should be considered an essential alternative to the Bvhaast. Both are to be preferred to the horrendous recording on Vandenburg ('Xenakis in New York'), which sounds as if played in a very small airtight studio bathroom.

Deforce acquits himself wonderfully in the solo pieces, but again, it is the sheer sounds of the instrument, through this transparent recording, that compels. I mean, Deforce really leans into these pieces, and all the microscopic richness of the instrument really goes straight into your ears.

Charisma really sounds awesome here, the first time I've ever been attracted to this piece. Perhaps there was a lot I wasn't hearing in all previous recordings.

The two late duos, Hunem-Iduhey and Roscobeck, also make this an essential release, being only the second recording for both these pieces. The former is a vast improved upon the previous performance by Edna Mitchell, and I have yet to get to the latter (though, admittedly, the other recording by Dan Styffe is fine). Still, having both pieces next to each other with a consistent performer is what's needed.

Ah, dinner's ready, gotta go...

Buy It Now!

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Lethevich on November 30, 2011, 06:49:18 AM
Has he written much for violin solo or violin-piano? And are there any recordings of these to be recommended? (I can accept viola too.)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 30, 2011, 07:18:50 AM
Embellie, Mikka, Mikka-S, and Dikhthas are a few that I can think of.
These are all only the Chamber Music album:


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41qcQS-ZleL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

http://www.amazon.com/Chamber-Music-1955-1990-Xenakis/dp/B00004WKJM/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1322666272&sr=1-1
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Lethevich on November 30, 2011, 08:30:49 AM
Danke! There was an ok priced one on Amazon UK so I picked it up :3
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 30, 2011, 08:43:44 AM
Danke! There was an ok priced one on Amazon UK so I picked it up :3

That's definitely the Number One Son of Xenakis recordings! ;) Put yer rubbers on!!

(Lethe on the Xenakis Thread? :o yay!! :-* ;D)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Lethevich on November 30, 2011, 08:56:19 AM
That's definitely the Number One Son of Xenakis recordings! ;) Put yer rubbers on!!

(Lethe on the Xenakis Thread? :o yay!! :-* ;D)

Ferneyhough is usually as far as I go - I mean, I'm not one of those crazy people ;)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 30, 2011, 09:31:45 AM
Ferneyhough is usually as far as I go - I mean, I'm not one of those crazy people ;)
Oh, "just" Ferneyhough, huh? Even I don't listen to him lol...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: springrite on November 30, 2011, 09:34:09 AM
Oh, "just" Ferneyhough, huh? Even I don't listen to him lol...

Yeah. I have a ceiling on how many notes per unit of time I am willing to listen to.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 30, 2011, 03:31:40 PM
Yeah. I have a ceiling on how many notes per unit of time I am willing to listen to.
Oh, okay. My limit is no more than 2 rhythmic subdivisions inside a group of 12 sixteenth notes over the span of 5 eight notes. After that, it's all just gibberish.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 30, 2011, 09:52:29 PM
Oh, you, guys, ::) (everyone adjusts their geek glasses :-* ;D) snort snort
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 03, 2011, 11:56:55 AM
Well, well, well, well, well...

http://www.amazon.de/Ensemble-Modern-Ernest-Bour/dp/B00692RU1U/ref=sr_1_145?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1322941849&sr=1-145

See what happens when you are obsessed, and look over the same garbage you looked over a thousand time? YES!!, we have an Alax sighting! Ernest Bour conducting the Ensemble Modern, with the LvB Violin Concerto, no less! To be released Dec. 6,...uh, in Germany! ??? ;D >:D :o :( :-* ;D

Well, this is good news! Let's cross that one off. :D I know it's not even here yet, but, such is the nature of CDCDCD!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on December 03, 2011, 07:44:40 PM
Xenakis and Beethoven... it's like a CD featuring Garth Brooks and 50 Cent.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 03, 2011, 10:48:42 PM
Xenakis and Beethoven... it's like a CD featuring Garth Brooks and 50 Cent.

You can't have your pudding if you don't eat your meat! ;)

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 19, 2011, 02:32:35 PM
Alax (1985) for 3 ensembles of identical instruments (3fl, 3cl, 6tp, 3trm, 3hrp, 3prc, 3vln, 6vnc)


I'll bet I'm the only kid on the block with this newly released premiere (straight from the EnsembleModern site no less!)by Ernest Bour of this most sought after of Xenakis's transitional works. I sat as if in the audience at the premiere, not knowing what this new work by Xenakis might hold, and, I was immediately regaled by a fanfare out of Messiaen's Chronochromie which led into a most beautiful passage for 3 harps and cellos (I believe).

Alax is powerful, mighty and thunderous work with moments of great delicacy, and Xenakian beauty. It most certainly appears to be the transitional work from the sound worlds of what he was doing at the time, and what would come. For the first time, I believe, we hear the slow tempos and sheer insistence of slow moving blocks of brass versus strings, in its most straightforward display I've heard yet. The dark, threatening bass drums of Horos are here too. Towards the end we are reminded of the movement of Ata. There are the Japanese flavors of Nyuyo. There is also the rolling timpani of Pleiades.

We are treated here to what I think is an unqualified Masterpiece, a huge laying out by Xenakis of all his concerns, in a very overwhelming way. At 25 minutes, it is certainly one of his longest strictly ensemble works (and brings to mind Kyania). Indeed, the ending, with the rolling timpani along with the other instruments of the orchestra, is one of the Composer's most powerful.

There are places where the recording seems barely able to manage the braying brass, and full tutti chaos, and the one ensemble closest to the mic gets a bit loud, but, overall, the recording is more than serviceable (though, by no means think that this is acceptable!). One does wish Tamayo would have included this is his Cycle, but hopefully someone will hear this and rush to record something cleaner. This recording is close to the Howarth in terms of quality (or the Ioolkos on ColLegno). If it is 'live', there is, thankfully, no applause at the end, which definitely heightens the impact of such a powerful conclusion. I wonder how the audience took to it. Anyhow, I can see by the certain flaws in the recording why it might have taken so long to get it out. Either way, my enjoyment was not limited, so, don't be to critical of my criticism, haha!!

Truly this work was worth waiting for, and offers much food for thought. I look forward to comparing it to the later orchestral works where the concerns in it were to be expanded. For those who have held their breathe,... you may exhale! ;) 8)

EXCELLENT!!

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Gurn Blanston on December 19, 2011, 05:51:35 PM
OK, although I feel that the s on the end is simply horrible... :-\

8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 19, 2011, 07:27:43 PM
OK, although I feel that the s on the end is simply horrible... :-\

8)

It's a beautiful 's'. Go ahead, put two more of 'em on there. Dare ya! :o :P ;D :-*
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 19, 2011, 07:58:42 PM
Alax (1985) for 3 ensembles of identical instruments (3fl, 3cl, 6tp, 3trm, 3hrp, 3prc, 3vln, 6vnc)


EXCELLENT!!

Again, listening for the fourth time, this piece reveals many layers that are probably not brought to best light by what I'm still assuming is a 'live' recording.

It's been brought up how that later on, Xenakis eschewed most of his earlier favorite tricks in favor of sheer multiples of same timbres intoning at steady rhythms.  Here, the old Xenakis and the foretaste of what was to come collide in spectacular blocks of now familiar patterns.

The feature of three harps does play a nice part, they are not underused, as neither are the three percussionists.Really, the beauty of the orchestration does nothing but to clarify the textures, which in their fuller guises tend to become harder to follow: here, the processes are simply brought to the fore. Much of Horos, Ata, and the works from 1990-91 can be traced to this work.

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on December 19, 2011, 08:33:39 PM
Okay, snyprrr, you have to tell me how or where I can listen to this...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on December 20, 2011, 01:16:41 AM
Okay, snyprrr, you have to tell me how or where I can listen to this...

€18 here: https://www.ensemble-modern.com/en/shop/95d
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 20, 2011, 07:29:22 AM
€18 here: https://www.ensemble-modern.com/en/shop/95d

And it actually showed up!! ;)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 20, 2011, 07:32:17 AM
€18 here: https://www.ensemble-modern.com/en/shop/95d
Okay, snyprrr, you have to tell me how or where I can listen to this...

btw- nice 60page booklet too! Nice write up on Ernest Bour. Finally, the packaging wasn't cd unfriendly!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on December 20, 2011, 08:12:37 AM
Oh, I see, the CD I looked at and commented on just this month...  :-\
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 25, 2011, 09:43:40 AM
Yet another new, slightly useless, release:

http://www.amazon.com/Iannis-Xenakis-chansons-grecques-Persephassa/dp/B006P9DV3S/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1324834806&sr=1-1

It does have, however, what appears to be layered versions of Persephassa and Psappha, in the vein of the computer realized cd of keyboard works on... Neos? The sample of Persephassa particularly reveals the spacial quality of the work. Still, a new cd of more needed material would... be... nice! :( >:( >:D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on December 25, 2011, 02:54:29 PM
How many versions of Psappha do we really need?  ::)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 26, 2011, 07:52:14 AM
How many versions of Psappha do we really need?  ::)

ALL of them, haha!! ::)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 30, 2011, 01:32:01 PM
Since I was so taken by Peter Sadlo's version of P{sappha, I was dismayed to see his Koch recording unavailable in the US, and astronomical elsewhere. There does seem to be some kind of Koch re-issue, reusing the title, "Percussion in Concert" (from an earlier cd), but it appears to only have two versions of "B" ??? ??? ??? I don't understand this. Can anyone verify? There is also a DG/Sadlo disc (something "Hors***" "Horsaal", or something) that might have a new version, but this too seems to only have "B". Again, I just can't seem to get a verifiable track listing. Sadlo is a monster, and I'd love to hear his Rebonds.

Just got a cheap-ish copy of Peter Sadlo's 1999 Koch release 'Xenakis: Rebonds and other Works for Percussion Solo' (w/NA Huber, Carter, Henze, Tanaka, etc.,...), the one I was whining about in the above Post. As I said, I was quite impressed with his Psappha: he plays a bit on the slower side, but is so perfect as to make a compelling case for himself.

Well, I am slightly confused by this, but I belive Rebonds B is the more straighforward piece, with the incessant tap-tap-tapping. So, going on this, Sadlo's Rebonds A (the more amorphous part) is the longest I've hear, clocking in at 8:00 :o. On listening, this slowness only serves to clarify the structure (Sadlo seems more intent on teaching and showing, rather than be selfish and a speed demon). The other part, the more rhythmic one, comes off very well too, with an ending only matched by Leoson.

Sadlo's woodblocks, and his whole setup, is very homogenous, as opposed to some others' more variegated approach. This sameness (which is also heightened by a slightly homogenous recording) works wonders for Sadlo, as he successfully turns his kit into one actual instrument. This is the only version I've heard that brings out some of the more 'arborescenes' aspects of the up/down tom toms.

Sadlo's approach, also, is much like Schick's. Neither reaches the sheer transcendence of Leoson's performance (or his conception), but Sadlo is no doubt a highly intelligent player, and certainly holds his own against the rest. As I said, the Koch sound is nowhere near the crystal clear Teldec sound that he was afforded for Psappha ('Peter Sadlo & Friends: Drum Together'), but it does work for Rebonds, which needs a certain amount of dryness anyway.

This Koch cd actually has quite an array of pieces, and it is interesting for more than the Xenakis. Look for it (EU AMAZONS), but be warned, I got the cheap copy! ;)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 30, 2011, 01:40:55 PM
I also got a copy of the Mondriaan Quartet's original 1994 Premiere recording of Ergma, a cd that has eluded me for quite some time. This Ergma is a touch more feral than the JACK Quartet on Mode; actually, the JACK's sound is so deep rich and bronze, when you hear the Mondriaan's more gut bucket sound, you really feel the dissonances much more harshly (which, of course, is a good thing!). Great stuff!

(This cd also has Feldman's Three Pieces (1956; which, happily, I don't have (I have Structures)), and, surprises of surprises, Cage's Five3 (trombone & SQ; written for the Mondriaan), which I though was going to simply be another recording of String Quartet in Four Parts.. This is quite a coup since I don't have Five3 on that Arditti/CPO disc anymore.

Anyhow, Ergma is white hot here (nice and ugly!), as opposed to the JACK's more burnished performance.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 30, 2011, 01:55:49 PM
This is madness! ::)Again, I have to get a whole cd of Eonta and Akrata just to get a 3min new piece. MADNESS! >:DWhen? When will Mode release reasonable recitals for this series? NEVER! obviously!

Ok, the 4 SQs, ok, I understand that,... though why they could've added...well, nevermind, that's fine, but practically every other release in their series is a big mixed up mish mash, IMHO. And NOW, Takahashi releases a second volume, seemingly gathering together the most head scratching Xenakis recital EVER, IMO. Ugh ugh ugh :-\ :-X >:D.

Whew, I just gotta vent. I got a big boner when I saw your post, but then went limp.

I thought the first Takahashi disc was a bit odd, adding Palimpsest and all, but why they couldn't have put Paille on that one,... I don't know, honestly I'm not really looking forward to any more of these Mode discs. I personally think they've done a baffling job here documenting Xenakis,... simply adding new recordings of pieces we already have heard, while things like the great orchestral/choral trilogy (Cendrees, Anemoessa, Nekuia) remain undone.

Can I get a witness?

oh, someone has some good news! ;D THAT I would like to see!

And,... more depressing news :'(.

ok, I'm sure I will have to dutifully get the EMI, though, aren't many of those performances on the RZ Edition 2-cd? I'm so jaded now, I'm just not even that excited,...oh, what has become of my Xenakis mania? :'(

And, the MOST DEPRESSING HINT of all is that Timpani has wrapped up their Xenakis series. Why else offer the five? Why not have offered the choral/orchestral trilogy also? :'( :'( :'( Why why why??



ok, here I wallow in my misery. Will I ever be satisfied with a Xenakis release again? Will the choral trilogy go unrecorded (a suspect not)? Will someone record good versions of the stuff that Mode fluffed (Plekto, others...)?

And, WHY??, if they've got two cds of Takahashi now, did they not re-record Plekto with her??

MADNESS, I tell you. Madness.



ok, the only silver lining I see is this. Remember how this series got started on Vandenberg, which released "Xenakis in N.Y.", and "Iannissimo!", and then folded, and then the same group continued with two cds for Mode, which then became that label's Vols 1-2?

Well, it appears that Mode is duplicating Eonta from the Vandenberg disc, so maybe they will also re-record Kai, Kuillenn, and other late Xenakis that, frankly, was horribly recorded.

ok,...now I have a headache. Please, someone soothe my fractured Xenakis nerves. ???

Haha, yes, it was so sad that Timpani wrapped up their 'Cycle'. BUT, I finally got Vol.5 (with Metastaseis), and, so far, it is GRRREAT! Seriously, I will need to get into this performance of Metastaseis: at 7:35, it is the fastest out there (Bornstein is a deathly 9:00!!), and, it does SOMETHING to the middle section that totally changes the sound of the 'soup'. All other recording sound similar here, but Tamayo, God bless him, must have just decided we needed to hear a different approach, and wow, this piece almost sounds like Tracees!

I'll drone on later about it, but I must also mention the one new piece I heard, 1965's Hiketides. The Amazon sample happens to get the one bit of tonal mildness in the beginning, so, I wasn't expecting musch, but wow!, this piece reminds me a bit of Messiaen's Chronochromie. Aaaaand,... to top it all off, the final two minutes of this piece will simply astound you: Xenakis morphs into an ancient, beautiful melody, that had me thinking I was listening to a baroque string quartet,... until I realized it was Xenakis. Wow!, totally impressed. Totally!

Anyone else have Vol.5? Well,... you NEED it. :-*
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on December 30, 2011, 03:18:44 PM
Haven't listened to Psappha in a while.
Just listened to both versions I have (Leoson and Schick), and can't decide which one I like better. Leoson is slightly more fast and intense, while Schick is a little more thoughtful. And, of course, given the freedom of instrumentation, they sound completely different.

Have you seen the full score of it? I always thought it looks fascinating.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 30, 2011, 09:37:20 PM
Haven't listened to Psappha in a while.
Just listened to both versions I have (Leoson and Schick), and can't decide which one I like better. Leoson is slightly more fast and intense, while Schick is a little more thoughtful. And, of course, given the freedom of instrumentation, they sound completely different.

Have you seen the full score of it? I always thought it looks fascinating.

Those two complement one another perfectly.

I think I've seen snippets of the score. I generally like his way of notating. I once saw pictures representing the graphic representation of the beginning of Mikka. They look like little 'commas',... have you seen those? It must be time to look into one of the biographies? Where is pic central?


btw- I am so blown away by this Tamayo Metastaseis. Pithoprakta, however, I think I have so grown used to the 'sound' of that old le Roux, that when I heard the Luxembourg rumblings, the clarity, and stage image, were so different from what I was used to that I immediately was turned off. But, I let my emotions subside, and, of course, it's a mighty reading, with the digital recording bringing out unheard of detail. Tamayo has honed his players well in playing Xenakis, and every sound they make sounds so much different than these old war horse recordings. My ultimate early conclusion is that we need both: original recordings and one perfect modern antipode (ok, two!). You know Bernstein has a Pithoprakta on that giant box? I'd like to hear it now!

Achorripsis, also, I find that I'm so used to the old recording, that when the oboe (english horn? what is it?) comes in right after the 1:00 mark, I immediately reverted to the older version. Even though I must admit that the older version really gets the crazy carnival robot sound absolutely perfectly (with that funny bass drum overkill), Tamayo, again, brings out detail like nobody's business. Again, both versions are mandatory.

Again, with ST-48, I found the older version more 'precious' (it's also a minute faster), though, again, Tamayo selflessly sacrifices himself to bring us a mandatory second view. As a matter of fact, it is Tamayo's overarching brilliance in this final installment of basically all the early pieces up to 1965, to give us a perfect second version of these pieces that have only seen the light of day once in over forty years. The sheer consistency of the interpretations is itself a wonderful gift, and the orchestra (and the recording of them) is droolingly fruity. The brass especially seem to have been given special leeway in producing ravishingly avant sounds. Keep in mind that most of the previous cds in Tamayo's Cycle had later works featuring a totally different type of Xenakis playing. Here, Tamayo totally shifts gears and rips it like no one else (surely Bornstein wishes he were putting out more Xenakis).

I also has to give credit to the grooviest Xenakis cover ever, very retro! I really shortchanged this cd when it came out three years ago, but it is essential, and almost becomes a first choice introduction (at least '55-'65). Surely we all have everything else anyway, haha,... right?,... I know I now have three versions of Syrmos :o, which the notes tell me is his most inscrutable piece, and it certainly is apocalyptic sounding. There's no way I'm comparing now.



And to think I haven't found a date this year, huh. ::)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on December 31, 2011, 06:50:23 AM
I think I've seen snippets of the score. I generally like his way of notating.
The grid use of Psappha was probably influenced by Feldman...


I once saw pictures representing the graphic representation of the beginning of Mikka. They look like little 'commas',... have you seen those? It must be time to look into one of the biographies? Where is pic central?
Hmm... the only unusual thing I see in the score of Mikka is that the legato lines are wavy instead of a normal curve.
If you wanna see, just google "Xenakis (name of score) pdf." They have about a third of his scores on mediafire, downloadable within seconds. I think this includes Mikka and Psappha.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 31, 2011, 07:16:09 AM
The grid use of Psappha was probably influenced by Feldman...

Hmm... the only unusual thing I see in the score of Mikka is that the legato lines are wavy instead of a normal curve.
If you wanna see, just google "Xenakis (name of score) pdf." They have about a third of his scores on mediafire, downloadable within seconds. I think this includes Mikka and Psappha.


oooo... goody!!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on January 16, 2012, 07:42:07 AM
ELECTRONIC MUSIC
Although Xenakis’s electronic music accounts for a numerically tiny percentage of his entire output, his pioneer status in the field was incalculable. After assisting Edgard Varese on the preparation of his Poeme electronique, Xenakis’s earliest electronic pieces Diamorphoses (1957) and Concret PH (1958) – the latter shaping a continuum from the crackle of burning charcoal – shared Varese’s vision of otherworldly sound masses that disperse, re-configure and climax in feral glissandi that burst the sound barrier. Later Xenakis worked electronics into a sequence of installations he called Polytopes, where architecture and monolithic sonic blocks, packed with inner light and shade, were harvested from the same abstract designs. During the 1970s, Xenakis refined his UPIC software, a computer-based drawing tablet that allowed composers to sketch sounds and structures onto a screen, while listening to a real-time playback. Electronics go to the marrow of how Xenakis created a new syntax for sound without reference to Classical tradition.


(Diamorphes; Concret PH; Orient-Occident; Bohor; Hibiki-Hana-Ma; S.709: Electronic Music Foundation (EMF Media) This invaluable anthology of Xenakis electronica, beginning with Diamorphoses (1957) and ending in 1992 with the bracing S.709, has been transferred with crystal clarity by those boffins at the Electronic Music Foundation in New York. Hibiki-Hana-Ma – sounds transformed from acoustic instruments – is like hearing familiar instrumental hooks put through a shredder and re-formed as a purist soundscape.

(Rough Guide to Classical Music, 5th Edition)

I've been wanting to ask this:

What do you all think of X's later E/A music? The pieces include:

Mycenae Alpha
(Pour le Pax)
Taurhiphanie
Voyage absolu... Andromeda
GENDY 3
S.709

Frankly, I'm not sure I WANT to listen to any of them, though 'Voyage absolu...' might be my favorite.

M.Alpha is nice to LOOK at, but yeesh, it's so horrid,... horrid horrid...

I used to have the cd with GENDY3 & Taurhiphanie, but apparently they weren't enough to keep...

I have the s.709, and it is quite like a laser bean boring into your head at the speed of light,... my current problem is that I want to compare it to GENDY3,... ack, just let it go...

Anyhow, please try to convince me not to go and re-purchase all this old horrid stuff,... I'm not saying it's not 'good', haha,... just,... ack, it's no FUN to listen to (I'm such a Xenakis slave that I'm having a hard time convincing myself not to get stuff I JUST DON'T LIKE,... ahhhhh :o).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on January 16, 2012, 08:11:51 AM
Mycenae Alpha
(Pour le Pax)
Taurhiphanie
Voyage absolu... Andromeda
GENDY 3
S.709
None of those pieces are that great, and S.709 I can't even listen to.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on February 02, 2012, 08:10:32 AM
The full version of Dammerschein is up, finally!


http://www.youtube.com/v/7WMGBVKqHdE&feature=digest_mon
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Tetsugakusha on February 16, 2012, 09:00:09 AM
Hi there, what a pleasure to read that there are other weirdoes like me out there - I have just spent €30 for the "Holland Festival" CD set, also only for the sake of "Anemoessa", and I am as well a fan of "Nekuia", which I discovered two years ago  :o
Melomaniac greeting from Germany,

Thorsten aka Tetsugakusha
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 16, 2012, 10:09:49 AM
Hi there, what a pleasure to read that there are other weirdoes like me out there - I have just spent €30 for the "Holland Festival" CD set, also only for the sake of "Anemoessa", and I am as well a fan of "Nekuia", which I discovered two years ago  :o
Melomaniac greeting from Germany,

Thorsten aka Tetsugakusha

Haha, yes, we've been waiting for you! ;) 8) Aha... a man after my own heard, spending much money for 10mins. of music! :-*

Can you find someone in Germany to release that Erato Nekuia LP on cd??? Huh? huh?, can ya?, can ya?


I've been concentrating on the '50s-'60s lately, starting over, to get a more solid foundation for listening to 'later' works. Then I pulled out the Boulez Thallien, and wow!, what a Masterpiece!, such integration! I will have to gear up for some massive Posting here.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on February 16, 2012, 06:44:45 PM
Hi there, what a pleasure to read that there are other weirdoes like me out there - I have just spent €30 for the "Holland Festival" CD set, also only for the sake of "Anemoessa", and I am as well a fan of "Nekuia", which I discovered two years ago  :o
Melomaniac greeting from Germany,

Thorsten aka Tetsugakusha
"Tetsugakusha-" nice name!  8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 22, 2012, 09:56:39 PM
Do we have free scores of Nuits?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 23, 2012, 05:31:29 AM
Yes, I'm sorry if anyone got their hopes up by seeing the Thread pulled from the dustbin! :'( There is no Xenakis news to report,... oh, yea, other than the... ugh, NewRelease of the JACK Quartet at the Wigmore, playing, you got it, Tetras. That makes about 6-7 recordings to date ???,... mind boggling...

I have been listening to a lot of Xenakis lately, studying the rhythms. I don't care what anyone says, the application of Modern Science to rhythm, as it is applied in Xenakis,... it's just my favorite! All I can picture is all these balls bouncing around in a chamber, or the pattern of raindrops, or the workings of a vast machine (we are somewhat machines).

I do lament the lack of ANY substantive Xenakis 'New' release, now going on about 2 years. We've had the Euro compilation 'Alpha & Omerga', but no All-Xenakis new recordings, and,... take a breath... no World Premieres since, what, the '90s?

Before Greece falls, we need a Complete Xenakis Discography! >:D (pounding fists on keyboard)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 23, 2012, 06:01:42 AM
snypsss, you've dashed our hopes again!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 24, 2012, 07:59:20 AM
snypsss, you've dashed our hopes again!

 :'( :'( :'(

I'm a Thread Killer. Sometimes, just admitting it helps. :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: CRCulver on September 05, 2012, 09:50:24 AM
Where can I find a recording of the original version of Nyuyo? I'm enjoying Cecile Daroux's transcription for flute and 3 guitars on an Naïve disc (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000AKOM3?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0000AKOM3&linkCode=xm2&tag=3636363-20), but it would be nice to hear the Japanese instruments the piece was first written for.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 05, 2012, 05:24:07 PM
Where can I find a recording of the original version of Nyuyo? I'm enjoying Cecile Daroux's transcription for flute and 3 guitars on an Naïve disc (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000AKOM3?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0000AKOM3&linkCode=xm2&tag=3636363-20), but it would be nice to hear the Japanese instruments the piece was first written for.

It's quite a twilit piece, no? Xenakis sure didn't explore the guitar-like instruments much, just a little psaltery in that 'cantata'. I would have liked to have heard his thing translated to the guitar (hey, isn't that what I'm working on?)

I would venture a guess that a future Mode release might have it, but I don't even think a premiere bootleg exists.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 05, 2012, 05:28:19 PM
Where can I find a recording of the original version of Nyuyo? I'm enjoying Cecile Daroux's transcription for flute and 3 guitars on an Naïve disc (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000AKOM3?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0000AKOM3&linkCode=xm2&tag=3636363-20), but it would be nice to hear the Japanese instruments the piece was first written for.

I still saddened that you didn't dredge up this Thread to announce the new Xenakis release. :'(
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 10, 2012, 09:01:17 PM
Unbelievable. I just saw a depiction of Xenakis's architectural 'glissandi wires' in the 1957 movie 'Les Girls' with Gene Kelly!! :o It was in a jazzy dance number, but it was no doubt wires set up around the dancers in the style of Xenakis's laser lights from the polytopes, or the depiction on paper of the glissandi of Metastaseis. Groovy man! 8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 27, 2012, 08:50:00 AM
No Xenakis news. :'( I fear Xenakis is a dead issue. Every new recording seems to be another 'Rebonds'. :'(,... and that's been it for 2 years. Mode looks like they've had it with IX. :( Just give me what I want and I will go away!! >:D WAAAH!!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 27, 2012, 09:59:35 AM
I think the best bet we'll have for hearing Nyuyou played on its original instruments is for me to one day learn how to play the instruments and record and mix them.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 27, 2012, 12:12:52 PM
I think the best bet we'll have for hearing Nyuyou played on its original instruments is for me to one day learn how to play the instruments and record and mix them.

I was thinking the same for the brass trio from 1971, Linea Agon (is that right?). I'm just not sure the navy brass players I know would care enough. Maybe I could check for a score, unless that IS the score on that Xenakis site. Hmm...

btw- Nyuyo actually has some difficult sounding techniques,... I'd love to see that score.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Poelmo on November 29, 2012, 09:32:47 AM
I was thinking the same for the brass trio from 1971, Linea Agon (is that right?). I'm just not sure the navy brass players I know would care enough. Maybe I could check for a score, unless that IS the score on that Xenakis site. Hmm...

btw- Nyuyo actually has some difficult sounding techniques,... I'd love to see that score.
Linaia Agon is on this recently released cd.
(http://assets.digi.persgroep.be/item_photo/BIG/12/L_0000842412/Xenakis-in-het-Orgelpark.jpg) (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/7090andjanhage)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 29, 2012, 12:34:59 PM
Linaia Agon is on this recently released cd.
(http://assets.digi.persgroep.be/item_photo/BIG/12/L_0000842412/Xenakis-in-het-Orgelpark.jpg) (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/7090andjanhage)

HELLO!?!?! :o

Thank you so much. Let :D... me :D... take :D... a :D... look :D...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 29, 2012, 12:44:48 PM
Linaia Agon is on this recently released cd.
(http://assets.digi.persgroep.be/item_photo/BIG/12/L_0000842412/Xenakis-in-het-Orgelpark.jpg) (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/7090andjanhage)

1) Linaea Agon
2) Eonta
3) Gmeeorgh

Fair enough. The 7090 Ensemble seems to have their heart in the right place. Perhaps an email is due? They also are responsible for the 'Beton Arme' cd on BVhaast. Interesting. Thanks again.

We still need a recording of Zythos. I think the YouTube has been taken down?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 02, 2012, 11:45:08 AM
but it's like many things with Karlheinz Stockhausen, the idea is fantastic, and sometimes in realization it's slightly problematic.

[...]

BBC3.Sat.Nov.24.2012[/font]

I promise not to bring this up! ;) ;D


btw- the '12' SQs he's asked to name,... they ARE pretty obvious what they would be, no?

1) Xenakis 'Tetras'
2) Ligeti No.2
3) Lachenmannn (per IA)
4) Dutilleux 'Ansni(sic) la Nuit'
5) Ferneyhough No.2
6) Ferneyhough No.3
7) Carter No.3
8) Harvey No.1 (first piece written for ASQ)
9) Rihm ?
19) Dusapin ?                                                    Kutoislawki)WHAAAT?)...keyboard's faulkt...
11) Nono 'Fragmente-Stille'
12) Scelsi No.4

... or something like that...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 02, 2012, 12:31:42 PM
Still haven't learnt the difference between its and it's, I see....
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on December 02, 2012, 08:11:49 PM
Wow... I might end up doing something I'd never thought I'd do- purchase a single mp3 track!  :o :D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 03, 2012, 12:09:31 PM
Wow... I might end up doing something I'd never thought I'd do- purchase a single mp3 track!  :o :D

I HAVE NOT YET PROGRESSED TO THAT LEVEL. CAN YOU FIGURE OUT HOW TO ORDER THE CD? (oy, the caps lock monster... what IS up with that?)...... it looks like it hasn't been released yet or they're out of it. The sample of 'Linaia Agon' make it sound like a very micro/gliss work. The sonics sound good too.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 07, 2013, 09:10:39 AM
Metastaseis (1953-1954)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCe25-TXbFk (7:30)

Here is a wonderful new 'live' performance of the Most Modern Work Ever Created by Man, James! ;) 8) Here, for the first time for many of us, the primal, cosmic dance of light and dark comes into stark relief. If only you ever hear 7:30 minutes of Modern Music after 1950, let it be this performance.

How can one deny the supreme mastery of density and texture as represented in this ground breaking work? The opening 'tuning of glissandi' and its resultant 'cosmic cyclops' is surely the most profound representation of genesis since Strauss (which one?).

Then, the main 'basin' of the work begins with single scraps of what sounds like some twisted Viennese waltz chewed to pieces and regurgitated into proliferation. This 'basin' is distinctly divided into three sections, each dominated by a different mode of expression. This basin, or 'tub', is an 'ether' into which Xenakis pours his stochastic stew. Wherever a particle land, there it stays, like a sonic arterial spray captured perfectly. It is Abstract Tone Painting of the highest order.

At the end, the glissandi return to tie a bow in the whole thing. 7:30, and the Universe Has Been Created. Seeing this live video puts one in a seat in the '50s, and it must have been a terrifying experience,... I wonder. There's not much information on the video, but it seems as though the thoughtful conductor has taking a lead from Arturo Tamayo's revealing Timpani recording (which I consider the absolute best recording available, Rosbaud coming in second) and brought in a very quick 'Metastaseis'. The benefits of this quicker approach is evident in the frissons actually felt.

Let this be the first Xenakis you have ever heard!


Pithoprakta (1955-1956)

20secs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC3XCfDBIK8

9:44 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWdQBblec0M

If you liked 'Metastaseis', you'd still be forgiven for wondering what-the-heck-is-that-thing called 'Pithoprakta'? Scored for strings, 2 trombones (barely heard once) and the ubiquitous Xenakis woodblock (haha 'modern' instrument!), it begins sounding like the snufalumpagii shuffling across the stage. No odder opening to a piece could be imagined. Then, transformations begin to occur and the next thing you know you are led down a shattering path of unified and broken string 'media'.

This whole piece seems to represent the 'basin, or 'tub' section of the earlier piece. Here, everything is playing for itself, thought the law of large numbers applies, and sounds are swept up in the vortex, only to be spit out as glissandi or pizzicati. In the middle, the 2 trombones act as a gyroscopic ground for a moment, and are then lost.

This piece is almost 10 minutes, but has something 'Metastaseis' did not: silences. 'Pithoprakta' is such an unbelievably alien landscape made the more strange by the constant change in texture, which includes the silences. At the end, the piece exhausts itself (as with many pieces by Xenakis) and shivers into the ether.

This old recording has sufficed for almost 50 years, and has enough of its own character to distinguish it for the new Tamayo recording (which recedes the trombones a bit).


Achorripsis (1956-1957)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WasFTDq0dJI&feature=player_detailpage

Op.3 is a chamber distillation of Xenakis's stochastic ideals. In this video, his procedure is made very clear. It is divided into 25 sections that take a total of about 6 minutes to perform. To these ears, it sounds like an alien one-man-band circus-horror-clown-carousel. If taken with a bit of humor, it's easy to see the 'machines' acting out in hilarious ways, like 'Fantasia' on acid!

This recording has also sufficed for decades, and again has its own unique character (the oboe (I think) entrance at about a minute has a 'sad' quality not found in the newer Tamayo recording).


So, these three pieces summarize Xenakis's 1st Phase. Staring with a dramatic pretext in 'Metastaseis', Xenakis then abandons all pretense and creates two works of the utmost randomness and abstraction, to the point that their abstraction breeds familiarity (the sounds of hooves and carousels). With his next grouping of works, Xenakis used the computer to make the calculations that he had up until now been doing by hand. Every note in these first three pieces was calculated by hand, a staggering feat. but, available to a man supplied with the mathematical wisdom of the ancients, the Math of God.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on May 11, 2013, 08:11:13 AM
Diamorphoses (1957)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGZyn4UiB6c

Concret PH (1958)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsOyxFybxPY

Analogique A + B (1958-9)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTzOWKaDrVI

Orient-Occident
(1960)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7N2-nuZbxY

Bohor (1962)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32a_bM2zuFI

Xenakis's early works in the electronic arena are classic expressions of the 1950s. 'Diamorphoses' and 'Orient-Occident' sound the most like typical, cool, computer vistas from the '50s, evoking outer space and ancient civilizations. I am of the opinion that these do not need analysis, they just need to be heard. They are pretty well transparent in their agendas.

'Concret PH' is three minutes of samples from sparks from a crackling fire, multiplied and divided. I'd like to bask in an hour's worth of this, which is more than I can say for 'Bohor', which is exactly an expanding of the previous work, but using BELLS instead of sparks. Wow!, this piece you really have to be in the mood for. Twenty minutes of overlapped clanging bell sounds is more than these ears can generally tolerate. 'Bohor' is great 'action' music,... as if you want to vacate your party or let your neighbors know exactly where you stand with their caterwalling(sic).

'Analogique A+B' utilizes a string sextet along with the electronics, and it too is a prime shining example of what was happening in the '50s. As with most all these works from the '50s, the charm here is in the over-the-top juxtaposition of bleeps and bloops with traditional string timbre.


ST/48
ST/10
ST/4
Morisma-Amorisma
Atrees

(all 1956-62)

All these pieces were created by inputting Xenakian data into a computer, and writing the results. These pieces truly have an otherwoldly voice, automated action, banks of glissandi. They are the most perfectly ordered pieces by Xenakis, sounding almost like Beethoven compared to later works! 'ST/10' and 'ST/4' are the same exact work, one scored for chamber ensemble, and one scored for string quartet, and make great comparison study. 'Morisma-Amorisma' takes the same sound world and sets it in a piano quartet (with bass) configuration.

'ST/48' takes the same trajectory and sets it within a classical orchestra. I declare that one of the random moments sounds just like the ending of the Sibelius No.7, such is the power and pathos of this most un-human music.

'Atrees' is the longest, and is divided into five sections. It is also the 'mellowest', or, 'static', and has a certain charm missing from all the other pieces here. This is available on the EMI set, along with 'ST/4' and 'ST/10'. 'ST/48' is available from the Tamayo Box.


Even Xenakis didn't really appreciate this era of his development (or, the results thereof), yet, when heard from a distance, the dawning of the computer age sounds almost quaint.


Duel (1959)
Strategie (1962)

These two pieces utilize Game Theory, and pit two orchestras against each other. Particularly, these may be the pieces Xenakis was not too pleased with. 'Duel' has never been heard by these ears, but, 'Strategie', long available through an Ozawa LP, is literally the most slam-bang, trash can noise fest I've ever heard. It is not pleasing by any stretch, and simply is an exercise in numbers. See how long you last:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipwbze36uj0

As we head out of the '50s with Xenakis, and into the later '60s, we will see his transition from these purely mathematical beginnings to the first flowering of the mature Xenakis 1972-3. With each successive work in the '60s, all the strands begin to come into focus, culminating in the giant works such as 'Kraanerg' and 'Persepolis'. We will see Xenakis's organizing becoming more deliberate, until we reach the cosmic vistas of 'Emprientes' in  the early '70s. From then on, the mature Xenakis reigned, churning out piece after piece in his mature style, until about the cutoff date of 1991, when the late Xenakis style began to take over.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 30, 2013, 03:49:42 PM
snyprrr ..

New MODE Edition coming ..

Iannis XENAKIS: Ensemble Works 3 (Chamber Concertos)
Steven Schick conducts the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
+ first recording of "Zythos" for trombone and 6 marimbas (Benny Sluchin, red fish blue fish)


Yes, I saw, haha, 15 years later. I called Alice at Mode, but she didn't have any details, neither Amazon. I hope it's not the program they played recently (that would be a lot of duplication from other Mode releases). Still, having Zythos will shore that last little bit up there. Will be waiting for the Mode update. Somehow I get the feeling there's another recording of Thalleinn in there.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: HenselFlaeder on October 17, 2013, 10:16:43 AM
Yes, I saw, haha, 15 years later. I called Alice at Mode, but she didn't have any details, neither Amazon. I hope it's not the program they played recently (that would be a lot of duplication from other Mode releases). Still, having Zythos will shore that last little bit up there. Will be waiting for the Mode update. Somehow I get the feeling there's another recording of Thalleinn in there.

There is a photo of the disc on the ICE Ensemble's site, and yes, it is the same program.

Palimpsest
Echange
Zythos
Akanthos
Thallein
O-Mega

I agree that it's not the greatest line-up for veterens, but it seems like a good introduction maybe. Mode has already recorded Akanthos and Echange, and the Vandenberg series recorded Palimpsest and Thallein. Yea, the state of Xenakis recordings seems somewhat frozen. Still, it has the Premiere Recording of Zythos (still not my favorite piece by any stretch).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on October 18, 2013, 12:05:20 PM
There is a photo of the disc on the ICE Ensemble's site, and yes, it is the same program.

Palimpsest
Echange
Zythos
Akanthos
Thallein
O-Mega

I agree that it's not the greatest line-up for veterens, but it seems like a good introduction maybe. Mode has already recorded Akanthos and Echange, and the Vandenberg series recorded Palimpsest and Thallein. Yea, the state of Xenakis recordings seems somewhat frozen. Still, it has the Premiere Recording of Zythos (still not my favorite piece by any stretch).

FINALLY! :'(someone interesting!

Yea, I was afraid of that. Oh well. :( Wait, I do feel a rant coming on, but...

It's pre-orders are already looking impressive as the BIG DAY (Oct. 22) approaches. Depends worthy!!

It's hard for me to get excited. Maybe I'll pretend it's a date? ??? :'(
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: HenselFlaeder on October 22, 2013, 06:29:38 PM
FINALLY! :'(someone interesting!

Yea, I was afraid of that. Oh well. :( Wait, I do feel a rant coming on, but...

It's pre-orders are already looking impressive as the BIG DAY (Oct. 22) approaches. Depends worthy!!

It's hard for me to get excited. Maybe I'll pretend it's a date? ??? :'(

lol, thanks

The release has been moved back to Nov.5. :(
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 23, 2013, 04:34:36 AM
. . . Wait, I do feel a rant coming on, but...

TWU!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: HenselFlaeder on October 23, 2013, 07:57:51 AM
I've been told from someone over at MODE that Steven Schick's The early percussion music of Stockhausen DVD incl. Mikrophonie I, Zyklus etc. is being released late-last quarter as well.

Oh that is exciting! Did you speak with Alice or Brian?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 23, 2013, 08:01:11 AM
Cool! We can chat Stockhausen up on the Xenakis thread, too!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: CRCulver on October 23, 2013, 01:01:57 PM
;D

Stockhausen casts such a large shadow, no composer or apparently no thread either, can escape it.

I guess that’s a kind way of saying that one particular Stockhausen fan among us is a bit of a prat.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on October 23, 2013, 09:06:29 PM
Yeah, let's use Xenakis' thread as a springboard for you to discuss Stockhausen. ::) How bogus of you, James.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 24, 2013, 04:00:46 AM
So, no actual Xenakis news today?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Gurn Blanston on October 24, 2013, 04:17:08 AM
SO now that we are on record as being opposed to James' rather innocuous comment (I know, it isn't sui generis, but damn!) can we move it along. Who is this Xenakis guy anyway?  ???

8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: OrchestralNut on October 24, 2013, 04:30:29 AM
SO now that we are on record as being opposed to James' rather innocuous comment (I know, it isn't sui generis, but damn!) can we move it along. Who is this Xenakis guy anyway?  ???
8)

A devoted disciple of Karlheinz Stockhausen, no doubt!  :D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 24, 2013, 04:32:38 AM
Any composer who is with it, would be!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 24, 2013, 04:46:45 AM
Well, I could go for two of those three . . . .
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 24, 2013, 04:55:20 AM
And thank you, those Xenakis pieces look interesting. (Of course, the Messiaen works on that disc are classics.  And on a personal note, my first sight of O sacrum convivium was as sight-reading in an audition at Trinity Church in Copley Square.  Of course, if that choir director had been a real professional, he would have used Stockhausen for sight-reading; we all know that.)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: HenselFlaeder on October 24, 2013, 05:38:02 AM
My comment about Stockhausen (a contemporary of Xenakis) having a new release on the same label, around the same time to a 'new' member who likes both isn't out of place or inappropriate at all. Some folks around here are acting like big babies.

They love raggin' on you, don't they? ::)


Both Stockhausen and Xenakis were pupils of Messiaen and this recording collects some choral music by all three - recommended.

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0001/001/MI0001001901.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

Is the Xenakis piece A Helene on there? That is the most normal sounding Xenakis piece, sounding like some Greek ancient choir music, very striking for those who aren't prepared to here conventional beauty out of Xenakis. snyprrr, are you familiar with this piece?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: North Star on October 24, 2013, 05:41:47 AM
Is the Xenakis piece A Helene on there? That is the most normal sounding Xenakis piece, sounding like some Greek ancient choir music, very striking for those who aren't prepared to here conventional beauty out of Xenakis. snyprrr, are you familiar with this piece?
A Helene is there.

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 24, 2013, 05:51:03 AM
Three Xenakis works on that disc, all new to me.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: not edward on October 24, 2013, 05:53:48 AM
I've somehow never got around to acquiring that Chandos disc, though, speaking of choral Xenakis, I do have James Wood's fine disc on Hyperion.



There's a partial overlap with the Chandos disc (Serment and Nuits, though the latter work most definitely deserves multiple readings).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 24, 2013, 07:13:36 AM
Since we're talkin' pupils, for consideration of further exploration .. some of these pupils went on to write some absolutely vast, incredibly inventive jawdropping choral edifices. See KS's Invisible Choirs, Welt-parlament or Angel Processions for instance. Clear examples of a pupil far surpassing not only all the other pupils but also the teacher!

Yes! He surpasses everybody! He is so utterly incredible in every way! Wow!

Gotta say it again: Wow!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on October 24, 2013, 07:30:34 AM
Yes! He surpasses everybody! He is so utterly incredible in every way! Wow!

Gotta say it again: Wow!

cue 'O Fortuna'! and 'Thus Spake Z.' simulataneously!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: CRCulver on October 26, 2013, 12:56:36 PM
Anemoessa is so similar to Ligeti’s Requiem that I’m curious what the composers thought of each other. Did they make any remarks in interviews about each other’s music?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 02, 2013, 09:53:38 AM
Not that it really matters but I doubt that a composer such as Ligeti who had an extraordinary & deep harmonic sense would have liked to listen to Xenakis's 'blobs or swarms of sound' approach much  ... as it lacks forensic detail and doesn't have an active organic musical inner-life beneath the surface; its pretty divorced from that.

Listen to Eridanos (1972) on the Timpani set and tell me what you think. I'd call it his most Ligetian piece, and it is somewhat unique in his oeuvre.

Only 3 days till the BigCDRelease!!
Gotta get the Thread in proper rotation.
Honestly, I just don't know what to make of this release, which has duplicates from the labels' very own ongoing Xenakis Cycle. Brian?
What happened to the new guy?? Hey new guy!!!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 09, 2013, 08:57:29 AM
Do check my Post in the other Thread: I had a chat with Brian over at Mode, and he cleared up some up-coming releases! yay! Anyone get 'Ensemble Music 3' yet?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 09:10:33 AM
Not that it really matters but I doubt that a composer such as Ligeti who had an extraordinary & deep harmonic sense would have liked to listen to Xenakis's 'blobs or swarms of sound' approach much  ... as it lacks forensic detail and doesn't have an active organic musical inner-life beneath the surface; its pretty divorced from that.

I wouldn't be so sure. Morton Feldman deeply admired Xenakis' music and his music is the polar opposite of Xenakis, so there's a lot that could be said of this of course. Having said this, please refrain from your 'Yeah, but Feldman is boring' rebuttal post. I think we're all a little tired of these posts from you.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 09:21:22 AM
I was talking about Ligeti.

But, my point was that Feldman, whose music, like Ligeti's, is so finely tuned and detailed, admired a composer like Xenakis who is, by even the musical temperament alone, completely opposite of Feldman. So, in closing, I would say that Ligeti would have probably liked Xenakis' music and them being polar opposites has nothing to do with admiration.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 09:33:36 AM
With regards to what I was referring to - not at all "alike". Not even in the same stratosphere.

I didn't mean Feldman and Ligeti are exactly alike musically, I'm talking purely about detail of each composers' music, and believe me there is much detail in both composers music whether you agree or not, but, as usual, you missed the general point which I was trying to make, which was composers that are completely different from each other has NOTHING to do with their mutual admiration of the other's music.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 09:43:50 AM
Does anyone, besides James ::), understand the point I was trying to make?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 09:49:04 AM
I doubt that there would be much in Feldman or Xenakis that would be of interest to Ligeti's forensic ear & sensibility for harmony; as their music didn't really operate to such a high degree internally/organically on that level.

I disagree and we'll leave it at that. I think to compare these three composers anyway is apples and oranges, but, again, you missed my point. You do know how to read correct? I mean we all know you can 'copy and paste' just fine, but it's the actual reading part that I'm most curious about. In my opinion, this is just another example of 'everything that James says is superior and all-knowing' while anything that may challenge your opinion is not even considered and/or is just flat out wrong.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 10:10:49 AM
I think you totally misunderstood my original specific point and smothered it with your 'own crap' - my point had NOTHING do with being polar opposites etc.

No, I offered another perspective of your comment which was people who appear different from each other do have the possibility of admiring the other. The only thing smothered here is your ongoing snobbery and bigotry for anything that isn't deemed acceptable to the world of James. Moving along...

Anyway, let's get back to Xenakis shall we?

What do we make of this set everyone?

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 10:27:15 AM
But that wasn't the point I was trying to make. Ligeti often admired composers whom had their own voice (opposite to his own) but they also had what I'm referring-to deeply in place (more often than not) .. i.e. JS Bach, Brahms, Bartók, Webern, Stockhausen, Boulez, Nancarrow etc.

What evidence do you have that Ligeti didn't admire Xenakis' compositional voice? I'm sure as much evidence as I have that Ligeti did admire Xenakis' music. :) But, you're closed off to that possibility of Ligeti not liking Xenakis' music and I'm open to the possibility that he did. Anyway, now we're just beating a dead horse. Move along, James....

Let's get back Xenakis now please!!!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 04:54:12 PM
For all that fancy copying and pasting, it would be nice to actually have a link to the recording. ::)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 05:13:14 PM
You are lazy. Try Google, I hope you don't need someone to tell you what to search for as well.

No, I'm not lazy, James. Far from it actually. You provided a lot of information about this disc but in amidst that 'copying and pasting frenzy' that I'm sure you find yourself in a lot, you didn't bother to help anyone else out that were inquiring about the recording. So as far as I see it, you're actually the 'lazy' one.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 05:15:24 PM
But to prove that I'm indeed not the 'lazy' one, here's a link for those that were interested since James has a comprehension problem:

http://www.amazon.com/Ensemble-Music-Sluchin-Trombone-International/dp/B00ELG00KE/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1384046064&sr=1-3&keywords=Xenakis+Mode
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 05:17:21 PM
VERY lazy, and bitchy too.

Link provided by yours truly. You're welcome? :-\
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 05:38:07 PM
I think what I posted provided A LOT more information and detail about the release though. Your amazon link doesn't provide a thing other than a "pre-order option" .. normally 'intelligent consumers' like to have a little more detail and information before rushing to buy something ..

James, a few things: 1. all you did was copy-and-paste information, which anyone could have done, 2. amidst doing your normal copy-and-paste botch job, you didn't even include a link to buy the recording, 3. nobody has to buy anything that they don't want, but if someone did want to buy that recording, which I, surprise, copied-and-pasted, but now they have a link to buy the recording (if they want), and 4. this isn't a pre-order as it is already available for purchase.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 05:44:56 PM
Let me add that copying and pasting, doesn't mean you're the author of the information and it doesn't make you some kind of 'superstar' because you linked that information onto GMG. Like I said, ANYONE can copy-and-paste. You need to get your head out of the clouds and come down to planet Earth.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 05:52:01 PM
That is why it is called "copying & pasting" .. man, you are a total moron.

No, but you make it sound like you're some kind of wunderkind because you can copy-and-paste information onto a forum. Not only do you not get when you're being made a fool of, but I have to actually spell it out to you. Get yourself a clue!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 05:56:03 PM
Man, your head is buried so deep up your own ass if you think that ...

The fact that you still don't get what I'm saying really explains so much to me about your level of intelligence. Have you learned your ABCs yet? I know you mastered the internet copy-and-paste function, but can you actually comprehend what you're copying and pasting?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 05:57:44 PM
Also, I'm very surprised you haven't copied and pasted another one those moronic BBC Radio articles about Stockhausen on the Xenakis thread. I admire your restraint. :laugh:
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 06:08:33 PM
So I seek out, copy and paste information pertinent to topics. No crime in that, its better than clogging up threads by arguing over essentially NOTHING with immature idiots like you.

No, there's no crime in copying and pasting, but when you think you're so clever and smart for doing it, is what I have a problem with. But, you win, James. You're so much superior than anyone else and you're the supreme deity of all things classical music. I bow down, master...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 09, 2013, 08:05:45 PM
Has Zythos been recorded before? That may be one of the few works left unrecorded... I'm sure snyprrr has a list of unrecorded Xenakis. I used to keep track long ago but don't have a list any more.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 09, 2013, 08:35:52 PM
Not that it really matters but I doubt that a composer such as Ligeti who had an extraordinary & deep harmonic sense would have liked to listen to Xenakis's 'blobs or swarms of sound' approach much  ... as it lacks forensic detail and doesn't have an active organic musical inner-life beneath the surface; its pretty divorced from that.

You are projecting taste onto values. FIY Ligeti greatly admired Pithoprakta, and because of it he decided to use Metastaseis in the analysis course at Darmstadt in 1962. It is also worth noting how Ligeti's writing changes drastically to a more textural, process-oriented and global structure in 1958-59, immediately after Xenakis' premieres of those two works.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 09, 2013, 08:59:19 PM
Has Zythos been recorded before? That may be one of the few works left unrecorded... I'm sure snyprrr has a list of unrecorded Xenakis. I used to keep track long ago but don't have a list any more.

I, too, would really like to see snyprrr's Xenakis list.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2013, 07:14:39 AM
He dealt with things on a micro level, very complex interwoven polyphonic textures & figures, and he moved on too.

Which still doesn't change the fact that he, as Petrarch pointed out, admired his music. So I was right and you were wrong as usual.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2013, 07:32:13 AM
What is everyone's favorite recording of Kraanerg? I bought the Drury on Mode several nights ago.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2013, 08:37:44 AM
You jump to conclusions quickly without much thought don't you. There is little if any indication that the admiration ran deep or lasted at all. In the early youthful experimental days at Darmstadt he curiously admired a single piece according to a member here. It really begins & ends there.

Still in denial I see. ::) Boy, it's fun watching you squirm when you're wrong. :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 10, 2013, 09:26:46 AM
There is little if any indication that the admiration ran deep or lasted at all. In the early youthful experimental days at Darmstadt he curiously admired a single piece according to a member here. It really begins & ends there.

Check the literature, you can rationalize and repeat your view however many times you wish, but that still doesn't change reality. I don't know why I bother, really.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 10, 2013, 11:05:22 AM
What literature?

It's out there, search for it; Google is your friend.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2013, 11:07:55 AM
It's out there, search for it; Google is your friend.

He would, but he's simply too lazy to do that.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2013, 11:19:19 AM
I was hoping you could back up what you were saying with something more specific but instead you've copped out. I doubt there would be very much. The interest was merely cursory & passing ..

Still in denial and so very WRONG !!!! Hahahaha.....
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 10, 2013, 11:33:00 AM
I was hoping you could back up what you were saying with something more specific but instead you've copped out. I doubt there would be very much. The interest was merely cursory & passing ..

HA! Keep at it, mate. The only thing worse than human ignorance is human pride in that ignorance.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 10, 2013, 11:44:53 AM
What do we make of this set everyone?



It does provide a nice cross-section of his works with good performances. I have a number of the original releases used for this compilation, so it doesn't appeal to me that much, not even for the few works I don't have yet. Any such sets are bound to leave a lot out, but might be a good way to start building a Xenakis catalogue and get hold of some OOP recordings.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2013, 11:46:54 AM
It does provide a nice cross-section of his works with good performances. I have a number of the original releases used for this compilation, so it doesn't appeal to me that much, not even for the few works I don't have yet. Any such sets are bound to leave a lot out, but might be a good way to start building a Xenakis catalogue and get hold of some OOP recordings.

Thanks, petrarch. Yeah, I didn't own any of these recordings, so this set appealed to me in that regard. The only other recordings I have of Xenakis' music are that orchestral set on Timpani and I have a recording of Kraanerg on the way (Drury/Mode).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 10, 2013, 11:55:19 AM
How is asking you for source material that you are supposedly referencing ignorant?

The jumping to conclusions and dismissing contrary views certainly is.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Pessoa on November 10, 2013, 12:07:37 PM
Thanks, petrarch. Yeah, I didn't own any of these recordings, so this set appealed to me in that regard. The only other recordings I have of Xenakis' music are that orchestral set on Timpani and I have a recording of Kraanerg on the way (Drury/Mode).
La legende d`Eer is another haunting electronic work. Palimpsest and Dikthas I have in a Wergo release and it´s getting annoying to keep buying new releases with repeated works, even if in different recordings, just because there is a piece I don´t have.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2013, 12:10:18 PM
La legende d`Eer is another haunting electronic work. Palimpsest and Dikthas I have in a Wergo release and it´s getting annoying to keep buying new releases with repeated works, even if in different recordings, just because there is a piece I don´t have.

Thanks, Pessoa. The complaint you make is a viable one but also one that I've read many other Xenakis fans state elsewhere.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2013, 01:22:55 PM
I never outright dismissed what you said, or jumped to conclusions. I am suspicious though (which is natural), even more so now .. as you can't produce the source material so that I can have a closer look. Oh and btw, I tried Google and didn't find much .. I've been following contemporary music for a long time and never came across much (if anything at all) where Ligeti goes on about Xenakis to any great extent like other composers he admired .. if anything I think I remember reading somewhere that he didn't think that Xenakis actually heard the things he wrote, no inner musical ear, lacking or no contrapuntal training. Hence the "blobs of sound" approach.

I read that article and it was a waste of time, but it was written by a blogger and WTF do they know.

Here it is for those who want to read it:

http://etiennedeleflie.net/2010/11/17/xenakis-and-ligeti-how-to-compose/

Special note: It wasn't Ligeti who said any of those things about Xenakis but rather a doctoral student the blogger interviewed.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2013, 01:49:37 PM
I never saw this one, there are some interesting points raised there .. I'm thinking about an interview I read or heard somewhere with some big composer, I do believe it was Ligeti, but it could have been Boulez or Carter .. I know they didn't think highly of Xenakis's thing either ..

Beating.....a......dead.....horse......

Let's get back to Xenakis shall we? In the end, who gives a damn what another composer thought of another one? This shouldn't change or alter our perceptions of the music.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 10, 2013, 05:28:39 PM
Well, I've tried to clean all residual fecal matter from the thread, although that is more time-consuming than I care to undertake, what with having a life and all. ::)

James, I fail to understand why you persist in posting in threads about which you haven't a single positive thing to say. A mature adult would move on to something that he DID like and stay there. It would distress me to have to force that to happen rather than having it happen by dint of rational decisions being made. Of course, I can live with being distressed.

MI, failing to engage in counter-argumentative rhetoric is not a sign of lack of fervor. When someone gets a big response to trolly behavior, it merely solicits more.

AMW, you left out the 'H', thus I had to delete your otherwise on-point post...  ;)

GB
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 10, 2013, 05:53:07 PM
I never outright dismissed what you said, or jumped to conclusions. I am suspicious though (which is natural), even more so now .. as you can't produce the source material so that I can have a closer look. Oh and btw, I tried Google and didn't find much .. I've been following contemporary music for a long time and never came across much (if anything at all) where Ligeti goes on about Xenakis to any great extent like other composers he admired .. if anything I think I remember reading somewhere that he didn't think that Xenakis actually heard the things he wrote, no inner musical ear, lacking or no contrapuntal training. Hence the "blobs of sound" approach.

Hoping to settle this matter, and forgetting for a moment how irrelevant and grossly extrapolated the above is of what I originally stated--sometimes age is not a measure of maturity; it really depends on how all those years have been spent--simply as a counter-example to the rampant black-and-white idolatry pervading your posts:




(both mention private correspondence between Ligeti and Xenakis, wherein said admiration for Pithoprakta was expressed)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2013, 07:54:26 PM




I wouldn't mind owning those two books. Unfortunately, they're both OOP. :( Right now, I'm reading Polish Renaissance by Bernard Jacobson which is published by Phaidon. The book details the lives and times of Panufnik, Lutoslawski, Penderecki, and Gorecki. Pretty good read so far. I know this is off-topic, but oh well! :D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2013, 09:43:51 PM
I was listening to the work Hiketides awhile ago and I was surprised by how 'subdued' this work was for Xenakis. It also actually contains melodies! WTF?!?!? I guess Xenakis was stoned when he composed this work. :D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 11, 2013, 01:39:29 PM
Again, bringing this to the fore, the brand new release from MODE
(the reason why this thread has resurfaced) ..


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HCfY1rS-L._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

Iannis XENAKIS
Ensemble Works 3 - Xenakis Edition 13


Palimpsest (1979) for piano & ensemble  12:11
Cory Smythe, piano

Echange (1989) for bass-clarinet & ensemble  14:43
Joshua Rubin, bass-clarinet

Akanthos (1977) for soprano & ensemble  10:39
Tony Arnold, soprano

Thalleïn (1984) for 16 instruments  18:31

O-Mega (1997) for percussion & ensemble  3:52
Steven Schick, percussion & conductor

International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
Steven Schick, conductor

Zythos (1996) for trombone & 6 marimbas  7:44
Benny Sluchin, trombone
red fish blue fish
FIRST RECORDING

An exhilarating Xenakis program, built around works for soloist and ensemble. Most of the soloists are from the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble led by their resident guest conductor, Steven Schick.

Zythos and O-Mega are among Xenakis’s final compositions. In the Xenakis oeuvre these constitute a new and plaintive percussion music. Yet there is a strange power in these stark landscapes. In Zythos, long trombone lines are wound round the threading of six marimba parts. It receives its first recording here, featuring trombonist Benny Sluchin of Ensemble Intercontemporain. O-Mega, a fitting name for Xenakis’s final work, is a short offering for percussion soloist and chamber group.

Palimpsest is essentially a piano concerto, but the piano along with a set of drums is placed behind a row of nine string and wind instruments. Thus a listener often needs to hear (and see) through the musicians in the front row to hear the soloist in the back. The title implies that what is nearer and more apparent is more recent than what is farther away.

Echange is a mysterious work exploring rhythm and texture. A solo bass clarinet spans a spectrum of textural possibility from the long, liquid tones of its low register to the percussive jolt of slap tonguing and key clicks.

Akanthos is music built by the rapid exchange of oppositions along with a supple line for female voice.

Thalleïn, a long work for large ensemble, echoes the theme of newness. From a basic rhythmic substrate multiple and complex layers of sound issue forth – each an elaboration of the previous one until the sounding space is saturated.

Liner notes by Steven Schick, Benny Sluchin and Kivie Cahn-Lipman.

Volume 13 of Mode’s Xenakis Edition is also the third volume of Ensemble Music.


Everyone, I was the first to want to hate this, but, gulp, guys!, it's absolutely transcendental! The three classic works are almost like new works as played by these incredible performers! I just can't even relay the absolute Instant Classic Status of this CD!!

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 11, 2013, 01:42:14 PM
I was listening to the work Hiketides awhile ago and I was surprised by how 'subdued' this work was for Xenakis. It also actually contains melodies! WTF?!?!? I guess Xenakis was stoned when he composed this work. :D

Yes, that was a shocking Xenakis moment for me. Frankly, you are going to have to check out that new Mode release. The samples won't prepare you. Frankly, I can't wait for someone else to hear this disc. It's going to make Xenakis new fans!

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 11, 2013, 01:44:38 PM
Anemoessa is so similar to Ligeti’s Requiem that I’m curious what the composers thought of each other. Did they make any remarks in interviews about each other’s music?

Everyone's getting the memo from me: New Mode Xenakis is Brain Melting Good!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on November 11, 2013, 01:50:26 PM
Everyone's getting the memo from me: New Mode Xenakis is Brain Melting Good!

So...you liked it, eh?  8)

The International Contemporary Ensemble are at the top of their game right now - and ditto percussionist Steven Schick - so I'm not surprised that the recording is good. I'm looking forward to hearing this soon.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 01:54:29 PM
Yes, that was a shocking Xenakis moment for me. Frankly, you are going to have to check out that new Mode release. The samples won't prepare you. Frankly, I can't wait for someone else to hear this disc. It's going to make Xenakis new fans!

I'm definitely going to check it out, snyprrr. What do you think of the other Mode ensemble recordings?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 11, 2013, 02:02:18 PM
No, I offered another perspective of your comment which was people who appear different from each other do have the possibility of admiring the other. The only thing smothered here is your ongoing snobbery and bigotry for anything that isn't deemed acceptable to the world of James. Moving along...

Anyway, let's get back to Xenakis shall we?

What do we make of this set everyone?



That's good as a mate for the Timpani set. Actually, you begin to disturb me with your Xenakising and Feldmaning lately!! ??? You have the Timpani? What have you enjoyed so far? There is much in Xenakis to potentially turn one off (tell me what you think of 'Bohor'), and you seem so spoiled picky!- haha- jus kiddin- but, anyhow, you're here, so- what do you think of Xenakian 'singing'?? ::)




btw- where's the Greg post in the middle of 3 Pages????? of the MI&James show???? it seems, Greg, that it took 12 years to get the 'Zythos' World premiere (I mean, huuuh???). Never heard of any Lindberg/Kroumata recording,... there was a YT video, whether this was a preview of the Mode recording or something else, I don't know. Be prepared if you haven't heard this, it's one of the oddest ducks ever!

So...you liked it, eh?  8)

The International Contemporary Ensemble are at the top of their game right now - and ditto percussionist Steven Schick - so I'm not surprised that the recording is good. I'm looking forward to hearing this soon.

--Bruce

Oh, it's just unbelievable. If you have the old Wergo disc with 'Palimpsest' and 'Akanthos', and the Boulez 'Thallein', well, these are SpaceAge performances comparatively. The flow of Xenakis is these performances is how I imagine he actually heard them in his head, they're that good. Every performers' chops are beyond question, especially the percussionists under Schick (and he's very interesting in 'O-Mega').

The soprano Tony Arnold in 'Akathos' is miles beyond the wonderful Penelope Walmsley-Clark on Wergo, just absolutely riveting, sounding like the perfect Xenakian voice-instrument.

I was totally at first disappointed by the lineup (I mean, 'Echange' is on BOTH 'Ensemble Music 2' aaand 3??), but, after hearing these stunning performances, wow!- and 'Echange' here has a different atmosphere than the longer, earlier one (such a pliant Xenakis piece, one of my favorites, so dark and cosmic).

Yes, you will just have to go NOW!! to whatever store is downtown!!


And I said I spoke with Brian at Mode and he assured me three releases next year! With 'Linea Agon' in three versions for (interactive?) DVD!!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 11, 2013, 02:10:46 PM
I'm definitely going to check it out, snyprrr. What do you think of the other Mode ensemble recordings?

Well, this whole current Xenakis series has been odd. It started with the Vandenberg CD 'Xenakis in New York', which is just one of the worst recorded CDs in all history it's so bad, and then 'Iannissimo', which sounded fine but had somewhat safe seeming performances, and then that group, the ST-X Ensemble under Boorstein, recorded their next two installments on Mode as 'Ensemble Music' 1-2. The sound, and choice of pieces, is variable. But, of course, I cherish them from that time around 1996 when Xenakis recordings were exploding.

I don't know what happened to that band, but this new one is so unbelievably great that one forgets. Much of this Mode Xenakis series has left me scratching my head ('Electronic Music 2' at 45mins.??), but much of it is sonically and musically amazing, 'Kraneerg' in particular. I just wish that it was proceeding a little quicker. Brian assured me that I needed worry about NOT hearing a certain piece, but Xenakis is the only Composer of High Modernism who hasn't has at least had all his pieces given a World Premiere recording. waaaah :'(
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 11, 2013, 02:12:43 PM
Well, I've tried to clean all residual fecal matter from the thread, although that is more time-consuming than I care to undertake, what with having a life and all. ::)

James, I fail to understand why you persist in posting in threads about which you haven't a single positive thing to say. A mature adult would move on to something that he DID like and stay there. It would distress me to have to force that to happen rather than having it happen by dint of rational decisions being made. Of course, I can live with being distressed.

MI, failing to engage in counter-argumentative rhetoric is not a sign of lack of fervor. When someone gets a big response to trolly behavior, it merely solicits more.

AMW, you left out the 'H', thus I had to delete your otherwise on-point post...  ;)

GB

Gurn in the Xenakis Thread,... refereeing... have stranger things happened?  Hey, there's an actual Eb chord in 'Echange', you should hear this new recording, it does sound oddly BeerthHaydnesque!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 02:21:45 PM
That's good as a mate for the Timpani set. Actually, you begin to disturb me with your Xenakising and Feldmaning lately!! ??? You have the Timpani? What have you enjoyed so far? There is much in Xenakis to potentially turn one off (tell me what you think of 'Bohor'), and you seem so spoiled picky!- haha- jus kiddin- but, anyhow, you're here, so- what do you think of Xenakian 'singing'?? ::)

Trust me, I'm as surprised as you are that I've even arrived at Xenakis. :) But, I suppose what brought me here was Ligeti and Lutoslawski, so let's blame them. ;) ;D Anyway, yes, I do own the 5-CD Timpani set and I never heard so much glorious chaos in my life! But the thing I've been finding with Xenakis is, after you get over the initial shock to the senses, there's a lot to appreciate in the music. I just like the aggressive and barbaric nature of the music and really the sheer amount of energy it projects onto the listener. It's unlike anything I've heard and these aren't just 'bloop and plop' noises, he has direction for the music and it takes you into this violent landscape as if you're being thrown right into the middle of a war zone. I played my Mom the drum-dominated part of Jonchaies and she said she pictured someone being chased by a complete madman and when the music slows down this is the person catching their breath before the chase starts up again. :) Yeah, my Mom is cool. 8) Anyway, I look forward to receiving this Alpha & Omega set.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Pessoa on November 11, 2013, 02:42:11 PM
Trust me, I'm as surprised as you are that I've even arrived at Xenakis. :) But, I suppose what brought me here was Ligeti and Lutoslawski, so let's blame them. ;) ;D Anyway, yes, I do own the 5-CD Timpani set and I never so much glorious chaos in my life! But the thing I've been finding with Xenakis is, after you get over the initial shock to the senses, there's a lot to appreciate in the music. I just like the aggressive and barbaric nature of the music and really the sheer amount of energy it projects onto the listener. It's unlike anything I've heard and these are just 'bloop and plop' noises, he has direction for the music and it takes you into this violent landscape as if you're being thrown right into the middle of a war zone. I played my Mom the drum-dominated part of Jonchaies and she said she pictured some being chased by a complete madman and when the music slows down this is the person catching their breath before the chase starts up again. :) Yeah, my Mom is cool. 8) Anyway, I look forward to receiving this Alpha & Omega set.
The first time I felt something similar was when, as a kid, I used to play side B of a single my elder sister to listen to Yoko Ono´s 'Why'.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 02:47:32 PM
The first time I felt something similar was when, as a kid, I used to play side B of a single my elder sister to listen to Yoko Ono´s 'Why'.

I would definitely take Xenakis over Yoko Ono any day. Ono can't sing while Xenakis actually knows what he's doing. :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 02:51:55 PM
Well, this whole current Xenakis series has been odd. It started with the Vandenberg CD 'Xenakis in New York', which is just one of the worst recorded CDs in all history it's so bad, and then 'Iannissimo', which sounded fine but had somewhat safe seeming performances, and then that group, the ST-X Ensemble under Boorstein, recorded their next two installments on Mode as 'Ensemble Music' 1-2. The sound, and choice of pieces, is variable. But, of course, I cherish them from that time around 1996 when Xenakis recordings were exploding.

I don't know what happened to that band, but this new one is so unbelievably great that one forgets. Much of this Mode Xenakis series has left me scratching my head ('Electronic Music 2' at 45mins.??), but much of it is sonically and musically amazing, 'Kraneerg' in particular. I just wish that it was proceeding a little quicker. Brian assured me that I needed worry about NOT hearing a certain piece, but Xenakis is the only Composer of High Modernism who hasn't has at least had all his pieces given a World Premiere recording. waaaah :'(

Thanks, I'll definitely be getting the rest of the series at some point. This new recording Ensemble Music 3 must be pretty damn good for you to keep talking about it. I don't think I've seen you so excited before. As I mentioned before, I do have Kraanerg on Mode en route.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: John Copeland on November 11, 2013, 03:03:50 PM
I have looked at some Xenakis scores (online)...they are magnificent, such a change from treble clef infested scores and suddenly I am interested in this composer because of those scores.  Never having heard Xenakis, and knowing what I will hear is going to challenge me at every level, I'm going to listen to some Xenakis online...I might last forever, but it may be that I don't last long at all.  I'll give it a shot.  The mention of Lutoslawski as a 'step' to Xenakis is also helpful, as I am a true admirer of the brain scattering antics of Lutoslawski.
So...here goes, I'll find something online and have a listen...he was a qualified Architect after all, so I may find this music 'designer'...

10 Mins Later:  I listened to Pithoprakta here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZazYFchLRI&list=RDsWdQBblec0M (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZazYFchLRI&list=RDsWdQBblec0M)
Fat lot of good that did me.   >:(  Who knows what that was about.   :-[
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 03:05:28 PM
For me, Hiketides is one of Xenakis' most 'beautiful' works for orchestra:

http://www.youtube.com/v/RoUyzXr-aT4

http://www.youtube.com/v/GFZQ_VzKoFg&list=RDRoUyzXr-aT4
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 03:10:14 PM
I have looked at some Xenakis scores (online)...they are magnificent, such a change from treble clef infested scores and suddenly I am interested in this composer because of those scores.  Never having heard Xenakis, and knowing what I will hear is going to challenge me at every level, I'm going to listen to some Xenakis online...I might last forever, but it may be that I don't last long at all.  I'll give it a shot.  The mention of Lutoslawski as a 'step' to Xenakis is also helpful, as I am a true admirer of the brain scattering antics of Lutoslawski.
So...here goes, I'll find something online and have a listen...he was a qualified Architect after all, so I may find this music 'designer'...

10 Mins Later:  I listened to Pithoprakta here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZazYFchLRI&list=RDsWdQBblec0M (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZazYFchLRI&list=RDsWdQBblec0M)
Fat lot of good that did me.   >:(  Who knows what that was about.   :-[

I understand the 'shock' you must be in right now, John, but please try and persevere. Listen to this when you have time:

http://www.youtube.com/v/Gb-9j04PGN8

Take the most brutal moments of Stravinsky's Le sacre du printemps and Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin and throw them in a blender at warp speeds and this Xenakis work is what you'll have.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: John Copeland on November 11, 2013, 03:33:14 PM
I understand the 'shock' you must be in right now, John, but please try and persevere. Listen to this when you have time:

http://www.youtube.com/v/Gb-9j04PGN8

Take the most brutal moments of Stravinsky's Le sacre du printemps and Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin and throw them in a blender at warp speeds and this Xenakis work is what you'll have.

Many thanks John.  I have listened to it.  Brutal is a good word.  I'm going back to Schnittke...thanks anyway John.   :-[
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 03:36:16 PM
Many thanks John.  I have listened to it.  Brutal is a good word.  I'm going back to Schnittke...thanks anyway John.   :-[

At least you listened and sometimes that's all anyone could have asked for. BTW, going from Xenakis to Schnittke is very interesting. Schnittke sounds like a conservative compared to Xenakis! :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 04:03:16 PM
BTW, snyprrr, you'll be VERY happy with my current purchases. :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 04:23:32 PM
A guide to Iannis Xenakis's music
The Greek composer trained as an architect, and created works of shattering visceral power that still astound today

(http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Admin/BkFill/Default_image_group/2011/11/16/1321459222906/Iannis-Xenakis-Portrait-S-007.jpg)

It sounds like something out of a film script. A Greek man in his early 20s fights for his homeland as part of the Communist resistance at the end of the second world war. Shrapnel from a blast from a British tank causes a horrendous facial injury that means the permanent loss of sight in one eye. He is sentenced to death after his exile to Paris (a sentence that was later commuted to a prison term, with his conviction finally quashed with the end of the junta in 1974). By the time he returns, he has become one of the leading creative figures of the century: an architect who trained, worked, and often transcended the inspiration of his mentor and boss, Le Corbusier; an intellectual whose physical and mathematical understanding of the way individual particles interact with each other and create a larger mass - atoms, birds, people, and musical notes - would produce one of the most fertile and prophetic aesthetic explorations in musical history; and above all a composer, whose craggily, joyously elemental music turned collections of pitches and rhythms and instruments into a force of nature, releasing a power that previous composers had only suggested metaphorically but which he would realise with arguably greater clarity, ferocity, intensity than any musician, before or since. This is the music of Iannis Xenakis.

When you hear Xenakis's music – any piece of what we recognise as his mature work, starting with 1954's Metastasis, onwards – you're confronted with an aesthetic that seems unprecedented according to any of the frames of reference that musical works usually relate to. You won't hear vestiges of things like familiar forms, or shapes, or languages. Even the furthest-out reaches of early 1950s serialism sound resolutely conventional next to Xenakis's works of the same period. It's music whose sheer, scintillating physicality creates its own territory in every piece, whether it's for solo cello or huge orchestra. As Ben Watson has put it, Xenakis's work is "an alien shard, glimmering in the heart of the West". When Xenakis approached Olivier Messiaen in Paris for composition lessons, Messiaen turned him down, because, "I think one should study harmony and counterpoint. But this was a man so much out of the ordinary that I said… 'No, you are almost 30, you have the good fortune of being Greek, of being an architect and having studied special mathematics. Take advantage of these things. Do them in your music'."

And that's exactly what Xenakis would do, and was already doing - which is both one explanation of his music's shocking otherness (it was heard as "alien" even by the hipsters of the early 1950s; the 1955 premiere of Metastasis at the Donaueschingen Festival was one of the scandals of postwar music) and a revelation of this music's deep, primal rootedness in richer and older phenomena even than musical history: the physics and patterning of the natural world, of the stars, of gas molecules, and the proliferating possibilities of mathematical principles. Xenakis resisted the label of being a mere mathematician in music just as surely as he refused the idea of his music's political or social message, and it was of course how he used those scientific principles (outlined in his book, Formalized Music) to create pieces of shattering visceral power.

His architectural output offers ways into his music's imaginative world. Take the Philips Pavilion that Xenakis designed for the Brussels World's Fair in 1958 and for which he and Edgard Varèse wrote electronic music to animate its still gorgeously futuristic-looking parabolas, swoops, curves. The maths underlying its construction, and the shapes it makes, have a direct correlation in the way Xenakis uses the instruments of the orchestra in Metastasis, organising the entries of the instruments, and the pitches they play, according to the working-out of mathematical and statistical formulae, translating the space of architectural planes into musical time. (Take a look at his near-contemporary design for a "Cosmic City", a gloriously sci-fi vision of the metropolis of the future - and what happens when Dan Dare meets curvy brutalism.) Xenakis also designed what he called "polytopes", high-art son-et-lumière installations that involved his lighting designs, his sets, his music, and his sound projection to create vivid multi-media experiences, in places from Canada to Iran to Greece. And he designed a system for the conversion of graphic stimuli into sound, a programme he called UPIC and which has now morphed into more sophisticated computer software like IanniX. (More than a decade before Boulez founded IRCAM, Xenakis had set up his own institute for music-technological research in Paris called EMAMu, which now exists as CCMIX.)

Those are some clues to the elemental concerns of his music. But what happens when you hear his music goes beyond even the sensation of teeming natural phenomena or landscapes transmuted into music. Listen to this piece - Synaphaï - for piano and orchestra. You'll hear a piano part of mind-bending complexity, which has the unique distinction, as far as I'm aware, of having a separate stave for each finger. You did read that right: Xenakis uses 10 staves in this piece. You'll hear clouds of minutely detailed orchestral sonority wrap around the solo part, like flocks of small birds mobbing an avaricious raptor; and you'll hear a near-continuous rhythmic intensity and textural violence that takes your breath away. Hearing this piece is as awesome an experience as watching some life-changing natural spectacle. Synaphaï has all the teeming unpredictable power of a glacier, the thrilling complexity of shape and movement of a mass animal migration.

But there's something else as well. This music is expressive: not in a conventionally emotional way, perhaps, but it has an ecstatic, cathartic power. Xenakis's music – and its preternaturally brilliant performers - allows its listeners to witness seismic events close at hand, to be at the middle of a musical happening of cosmic intensity. (That's literally true in Terratektorh, in which the orchestra perform from within the audience – it would have been fun to be part of this performance conducted by Matthias Pintscher…) Xenakis has said that his war-time experience informed his desire to create his new kind of sound-experience. (He described the play of sirens, gunfire, and spotlights in Athens in the 1940s as like a "large-scale spectacle") Yet his music sounds, to me at least, to be purged – or perhaps to be a purging - of the sort of existential darkness that György Ligeti's music, say, never escapes. (Among the closest Xenakis comes to a direct emotional utterance is in his Nuits for chorus; music that sounds like a primordial cry, an impassioned scream.)

There's a huge amount to discover in Xenakis's music, and much of his vast output is out there on YouTube. Some highlights: the non-stop dynamism of Keqrops for piano and ensemble, the epic scale of the 75-minute long Kraanerg for ensemble and tape; the dagger-like pointillism of Khoai for solo harpsichord; or the devastating virtuosity of Tetras for string quartet. The piece that converted me, though, was Jonchaies for orchestra, composed in 1977, and quite simply one of the most exciting experiences you can have in music. Listen to it as loud as you can and convert all your neighbours to Xenakis too.

Jonchaies embodies the elemental truth about all of Xenakis's music. Beethoven described nature in the Pastoral Symphony, Sibelius was terrified by it in Tapiola, but it took Xenakis for music to become nature. On holiday in Corsica, Xenakis would pilot his canoe into the teeth of the biggest storm he and his paddle could manage. When you're listening to his music, you also go out there into the eye of a musical storm that will invigorate, inspire, and awe. See you out there…


[Article taken from The Guardian]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is this post James worthy or what? ;) :D But seriously, it does have some good information in it IMHO.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: John Copeland on November 11, 2013, 05:30:40 PM
Very interesting post there John.  I looked up the Philips Pavilion which he designed, what a beautiful piece of architectural design!  Reading the above article has kept me interested in this composer - I am very much attracted to his ideas for music and the synthesis of mathematics, science and music - cosmic music! - all of that I find very exciting, but I'm not yet finding it in his music.  Well, not too bad old bean, I've only listened to two pieces by him, but what I've read there should help me 'meet' him better.  I won't give up on him yet.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 05:43:17 PM
Very interesting post there John.  I looked up the Philips Pavilion which he designed, what a beautiful piece of architectural design!  Reading the above article has kept me interested in this composer - I am very much attracted to his ideas for music and the synthesis of mathematics, science and music - cosmic music! - all of that I find very exciting, but I'm not yet finding it in his music.  Well, not too bad old bean, I've only listened to two pieces by him, but what I've read there should help me 'meet' him better.  I won't give up on him yet.

Yeah, this article has helped me out as well. Very interesting read for sure. I hope you don't give up on him like I have with Messiaen. :( :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: John Copeland on November 11, 2013, 05:45:02 PM
Metastaseis (1953-1954)
...It is Abstract Tone Painting of the highest order...
...the Math of God...

I just read that piece.  Very god good.  I can work with this composer some more...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 05:45:56 PM
Sure! But I beat you to it .. $:)

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,839.msg713061.html#msg713061


Well sure you did, but, you see, I wasn't lazy this time and I included the whole article and all you did was copy-and-paste the link to the article. Aren't I a crafty one! ;) :D Just kidding with you of course...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 05:47:56 PM
For me, Hiketides is one of Xenakis' most 'beautiful' works for orchestra:

http://www.youtube.com/v/RoUyzXr-aT4

http://www.youtube.com/v/GFZQ_VzKoFg&list=RDRoUyzXr-aT4

Hey John, check this work out if you haven't already.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 11, 2013, 05:58:46 PM
I'm definitely going to check it out, snyprrr. What do you think of the other Mode ensemble recordings?

This one has the best Eonta ever (I believe I have posted about this on this same thread some 3 years ago):



And this one for some miscellaneous gems is also very worthwhile:



Outside of music for ensemble, this one has two absolutely essential orchestral works (Terretektorh, Nomos Gamma) amid a very solid offering of other titles:

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 11, 2013, 06:02:40 PM


Classic set. If you were to own just 1 X recording for your collection, this would be it.

Wholeheartedly agree. The amount of timeless performances in that release is astounding. I still remember going through it avidly as I read Formalized Music.

And I am very glad to have it with the original cover, two editions before the monochrome covers :) (hopefully the monochrome kept the same thick booklet):

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0w4BUTtJOng/UjbRn9PdS-I/AAAAAAAAD70/YmcSKW7XMTA/s1600/Cover.jpg)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 06:10:22 PM
This one has the best Eonta ever (I believe I have posted about this on this same thread some 3 years ago):



And this one for some miscellaneous gems is also very worthwhile:



Outside of music for ensemble, this one has two absolutely essential orchestral works (Terretektorh, Nomos Gamma) amid a very solid offering of other titles:



Thanks for the recommendations, Petrarch. I'll definitely keep these under my cap. As I mentioned, I'm definitely going to be acquiring all of the Mode recordings at some juncture. I already bought three more of them tonight (Ensemble Vol. 1-3.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 06:19:28 PM
From the purchases thread:

More Xenakis one the way:

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_1dE_XqydYhg/S7rBTXdmu8I/AAAAAAAAAHY/TYQ_zRuSOi0/s1600/na_20100401d.jpg) (http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0000/968/MI0000968537.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000000NZ9.01.L.jpg) (http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0003/667/MI0003667795.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

My goodness I don't know what's gotten into me, but I can't get enough of this atonal crap! :P
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 11, 2013, 06:25:31 PM
Here is a recent filmed performance of this one .. I don't particularly like this piece myself, but here it is for curious folks ..

http://www.youtube.com/v/37ajOyhcl_c

The video doesn't quite make it justice. Its massive character is totally lost, and most importantly the fact that it was composed and precisely calculated to make the audience feel they are inside a particle accelerator with the sound moving more and more rapidly around and through them--that is why the musicians are to be seated among the audience.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 06:29:27 PM
The video doesn't quite make it justice. Its massive character is totally lost, and most importantly the fact that it was composed and precisely calculated to make the audience feel they are inside a particle accelerator with the sound moving more and more rapidly around and through them--that is why the musicians are to be seated among the audience.

So definitely a work that must be seen to give it full justice. Not really a piece that works well for a recorded live performance. It did have some cool sonorities, but being in that audience is where we should to be.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 11, 2013, 06:53:08 PM
Ya .. but you get an idea of the musical result which isn't too interesting IMO, its 1 dimensional, clunky etc. I enjoy some of Xenakis  .. smaller scale things because it works better on a visceral/novel more clear & intimate level despite its IMHO lack of inner refinement or musicality.

James, you jester :D... Can't help but always be upliftingly gracious.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 07:27:14 PM
I know, I know .. but I'm only being honest. I have most of his stuff on disc, I've listened to it. I've witnessed a few live performances too. Sure, he had his mathematical & scientific logic and all .. and that is apart of the allure .. but pushing that all aside; the musical results & output we are left with are often lacking, at least to these ears.

Then why am I still hearing Hiketides or Synaphaï in my head right now after listening to them days ago? And those are just two examples of course, but I'm not going to lie and say everything is memorable or sticks out in my head, but this isn't really criteria for good music is it? I mean Xenakis' music is very much a 'in the moment' experience and you're either affected by this experience for the better or you're not. Judging from the post above, I would say that you're not attuned to his music, so, therefore this makes me wonder why you continue to post on this thread? I mean I'm sure someone could make the same case for your numero uno Stockhausen couldn't they? I don't care for Stockhausen, so I really have no business on that thread. If you can't add to conversation, James, and at least give some positive insight into the music and your opinion of it, then perhaps you should go back to the Stockhausen thread and continue to be enthusiastic about a composer you connect with.

Say what you will about Xenakis and, I'm sure there's more to come, his music has resonated with people and while post-WWII music is still finding it's audience, we should at least try and stay positive about this music instead of reflecting others away from it.

Just a thought.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: kishnevi on November 11, 2013, 07:41:26 PM
Then why am I still hearing Hiketides or Synaphaï in my head right now after listening to them days ago? And those are just two examples of course, but I'm not going to lie and say everything is memorable or sticks out in my head, but this isn't really criteria for good music is it? I mean Xenakis' music is very much a 'in the moment' experience and you're either affected by this experience for the better or you're not. Judging from the post above, I would say that you're not attuned to his music, so, therefore this makes me wonder why you continue to post on this thread? I mean I'm sure someone could make the same case for your numero uno Stockhausen couldn't they? I don't care for Stockhausen, so I really have no business on that thread. If you can't add to conversation, James, and at least give some positive insight into the music and your opinion of it, then perhaps you should go back to the Stockhausen thread and continue to be enthusiastic about a composer you connect with.

Say what you will about Xenakis and, I'm sure there's more to come, his music has resonated with people and while post-WWII music is still finding it's audience, we should at least try and stay positive about this music instead reflecting others away from it.

Just a thought.

Actually James's description of his reaction to Xenakis is rather similar to my reaction to KHS.  Perhaps one of us should tell him to listen to every single note that Xenakis composed before deciding Xenakis had nothing of interest for him?

To be perfectly honest, my one, rather limited exposure, to Xenakis didn't encourage me to look for more.  Your exchange earlier today with Glasgow John sums up my reaction--although instead of brutal I'd use the word ugly or noisy.  And due to a set of circumstances not really relevant to the thread (involving a ex co worker who was trying to pay as little as possible for the department Christmas present exchange, and probably paid nothing) I'm not even sure which Xenakis work(s) I was listening to! (I assumed they were the works most readily available to download off the Internet.)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 07:51:51 PM
Actually James's description of his reaction to Xenakis is rather similar to my reaction to KHS.  Perhaps one of us should tell him to listen to every single note that Xenakis composed before deciding Xenakis had nothing of interest for him?

To be perfectly honest, my one, rather limited exposure, to Xenakis didn't encourage me to look for more.  Your exchange earlier today with Glasgow John sums up my reaction--although instead of brutal I'd use the word ugly or noisy.  And due to a set of circumstances not really relevant to the thread (involving a ex co worker who was trying to pay as little as possible for the department Christmas present exchange, and probably paid nothing) I'm not even sure which Xenakis work(s) I was listening to! (I assumed they were the works most readily available to download off the Internet.)

Well, it appears that there are some works James enjoys by Xenakis, but it seems to me there's this underlying superiority type of attitude he has about the music where he thinks what he listens to is certified gold which makes me think he's somehow undermining what petrarch and I are saying. I don't know maybe I'm just thinking too much here.

As for you not liking Xenakis, I wouldn't expect you to, Jeffrey. But, what you consider 'noisy' or 'ugly,' I feel the opposite. I think his music reveals the harshness of this world and exposes it's venomous underbelly through these turbulent musical soundscapes. I resonate with it and, as I said, not everything I've heard has been gold, there have been a few works, however, that hit me right in the gut.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: kishnevi on November 11, 2013, 08:08:34 PM
Well, it appears that there are some works James enjoys by Xenakis, but it seems to me there's this underlying superiority type of attitude he has about the music where he thinks what he listens to is certified gold which makes me think he's somehow undermining what petrarch and I are saying. I don't know maybe I'm just thinking too much here.

As for you not liking Xenakis, I wouldn't expect you to, Jeffrey. But, what you consider 'noisy' or 'ugly,' I feel the opposite. I think his music reveals the harshness of this world and exposes it's venomous underbelly through these turbulent musical soundscapes. I resonate with it and, as I said, not everything I've heard has been gold, there have been a few works, however, that hit me right in the gut.

Actually, given how dismissive of Xenakis James seems to be,  I think a second look on my part is definitely called for.  Are there any specific works you would suggest trying first?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 08:14:19 PM
Actually, given how dismissive of Xenakis James seems to be,  I think a second look on my part is definitely called for.  Are there any specific works you would suggest trying first?

I really don't think I'm honestly the right person to be asking, Jeffrey. I'm still in discovery phase right now.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 11, 2013, 08:25:45 PM
Actually, given how dismissive of Xenakis James seems to be,  I think a second look on my part is definitely called for.  Are there any specific works you would suggest trying first?
I would recommend starting with this:

http://www.youtube.com/v/xFOUBHJp3Ms

Although it's pretty brutal, it's kind of gorgeous at the same time and actually somewhat tonal through much of it.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 08:29:28 PM
I would recommend starting with this:

http://www.youtube.com/v/xFOUBHJp3Ms

Although it's pretty brutal, it's kind of gorgeous at the same time and actually somewhat tonal through much of it.

That's a very cool work, Greg. It comes in that Alpha & Omega box set I recently bought. This is the Abbado performance I believe. Smoking stuff for sure.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: kishnevi on November 11, 2013, 08:34:22 PM
Not true .. and I have more experience than MI, who is just coming to this composer ..

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,839.msg757730.html#msg757730


Then you did not write this?
Quote
Sure, he had his mathematical & scientific logic and all .. and that is apart of the allure .. but pushing that all aside; the musical results & output we are left with are often lacking, at least to these ears.
That sounds rather dismissive to me.
And I'll still ask John (MI)'s opinion, since I can calibrate from his reaction what mine would be.

But it looks like I need to start spending some time on Youtube. 
I would recommend starting with this:

http://www.youtube.com/v/xFOUBHJp3Ms

Although it's pretty brutal, it's kind of gorgeous at the same time and actually somewhat tonal through much of it.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 11, 2013, 08:43:19 PM
For me, Hiketides is one of Xenakis' most 'beautiful' works for orchestra:

http://www.youtube.com/v/RoUyzXr-aT4

http://www.youtube.com/v/GFZQ_VzKoFg&list=RDRoUyzXr-aT4

Hey Jeffrey, listen to this work. This is actually quite a beautiful work if I may apply such a title to Xenakis. :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 12, 2013, 07:22:33 AM
Definitely not my thing, but here is Pithoprakta for curious folks ..
(out of curiousity based on discussions here, I re-visited the Arturo recording this morning)

I still say the best of the chamber music (i.e. Arditti set), is the composer in the best possible light ..

http://www.youtube.com/v/sWdQBblec0M


I'm starting to wonder why you continue to post here if you don't enjoy his music completely? I mean that's like me going to Stockhausen thread and saying "Here's a work you guys should enjoy, but it's definitely not my thing." If you don't like the music, then why post about it? I just don't understand your thinking here, James.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 12, 2013, 07:37:33 AM
I'm starting to wonder why you continue to post here if you don't enjoy his music completely? I mean that's like me going to Stockhausen thread and saying "Here's a work you guys should enjoy, but it's definitely not my thing." If you don't like the music, then why post about it? I just don't understand your thinking here, James.

Well, he IS entitled to an opinion, and I've been reading his posts since the other night. They are not all negative, there are some things he appears to like and some things otherwise. I can't imagine a situation where someone is 100% behind everything a composer did, that's a pretty high standard to maintain. However, when people write provocative posts that encourage someone to lash out at them, it is called passive/aggressive behavior. I think it is very unwise to be passive/aggressive....

GB
8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 12, 2013, 07:44:44 AM
Well, he IS entitled to an opinion, and I've been reading his posts since the other night. They are not all negative, there are some things he appears to like and some things otherwise. I can't imagine a situation where someone is 100% behind everything a composer did, that's a pretty high standard to maintain. However, when people write provocative posts that encourage someone to lash out at them, it is called passive/aggressive behavior. I think it is very unwise to be passive/aggressive....

GB
8)

He certainly is entitled to his opinion. Did I ever question that he wasn't, Gurn? What I don't understand, though, is the need to continue post about a composer you don't thoroughly enjoy. It's like me going to the Haydn thread and making some negative comments knowing good and well that this kind of thing isn't fruitful in the long run. I'm not out to change anyone's mind about the music, I just think people should stop bitching and start posting about music that they do enjoy, so they, in turn, can engage in a conversation with someone. I don't mind honest opinions and I'm thankful for anyone that listens to one of my recommendations, but, at the same time, we should at least try to find some common ground.

As I've posted before, I don't like everything I've heard from Xenakis just like I don't like everything I've heard from Sibelius, but I would rather discuss a work I enjoy rather than one that I didn't. That's all I'm saying.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 12, 2013, 05:26:41 PM
Actually James's description of his reaction to Xenakis is rather similar to my reaction to KHS.  Perhaps one of us should tell him to listen to every single note that Xenakis composed before deciding Xenakis had nothing of interest for him?

To be perfectly honest, my one, rather limited exposure, to Xenakis didn't encourage me to look for more.  Your exchange earlier today with Glasgow John sums up my reaction--although instead of brutal I'd use the word ugly or noisy.  And due to a set of circumstances not really relevant to the thread (involving a ex co worker who was trying to pay as little as possible for the department Christmas present exchange, and probably paid nothing) I'm not even sure which Xenakis work(s) I was listening to! (I assumed they were the works most readily available to download off the Internet.)

See if 'Emprientes' is on YT. That's my choice. And 'L'Isle de goree' I think is the most accessible Xenakis. 'Ata' also is quite fun, and Stravinskian. Anything before the '70s is pretty brutal, and the Late Works aren't for the novice. Perhaps the single, ultimate Xenakis work is 'Thallein' ('Jalons' is good too) or- for sheer power and awesomeness- 'Keqrops'.

Xenakis should really have written 'Kraken'! ;) :D ??? :laugh:
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 13, 2013, 05:40:59 AM
. . . is not on the Uing.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mr Bloom on November 13, 2013, 08:04:44 AM
Well, it appears that there are some works James enjoys by Xenakis, but it seems to me there's this underlying superiority type of attitude he has about the music where he thinks what he listens to is certified gold which makes me think he's somehow undermining what petrarch and I are saying. I don't know maybe I'm just thinking too much here.
James is a Stockhausen fan after all. You can't expect much from this kind of people. :laugh:
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 13, 2013, 08:22:34 AM
James is a Stockhausen fan after all. You can't expect much from this kind of people. :laugh:

That's certainly true! :D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Pessoa on November 13, 2013, 08:29:36 AM
I like Stockhausen a lot myself. I don´t expect to be expected from.  8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: kishnevi on November 13, 2013, 08:35:31 AM
I like Stockhausen a lot myself. I don´t expect to be expected from.  8)

But you're not James.  Let's just say that 1) perhaps the only person who thinks more highly of Stockhausen's music was Stockhausen and 2)too much enthusiasm can be a detriment to effective advocacy.  Especially when that advocacy is made using cut and paste of other people's descriptions, instead of personal reactions.

As it is,  I take James's suggestions for what to listen for in Xenakis far more seriously than anything he says about Stockhausen.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Pessoa on November 13, 2013, 08:43:41 AM
Let's just say that 1) perhaps the only person who thinks more highly of Stockhausen's music was Stockhausen and 2)too much enthusiasm can be a detriment to effective advocacy. 

1. Looks likely.
2. Couldn´t agree more.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on November 13, 2013, 08:44:44 AM
But you're not James.  Let's just say that 1) perhaps the only person who thinks more highly of Stockhausen's music was Stockhausen and 2)too much enthusiasm can be a detriment to effective advocacy.  Especially when that advocacy is made using cut and paste of other people's descriptions, instead of personal reactions.

As it is,  I take James's suggestions for what to listen for in Xenakis far more seriously than anything he says about Stockhausen.

You certainly raise a very good point here, Jeffrey. I certainly could be guilty of doing this with many composers. In many cases, my enthusiasm for a composer gets in the way of seeing forest beyond the trees.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: North Star on November 13, 2013, 09:45:12 AM
But you're not James.  Let's just say that 1) perhaps the only person who thinks more highly of Stockhausen's music was Stockhausen
Are we sure Stockhausen thinks more highly of his own music than (e.g.) James?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 14, 2013, 08:41:14 AM
Jeffrey, you talk too much; and most of it here is just dead air. If you ever want to have a serious discussion just let me know.

I still want to know what you think of 'Emprientes' in the Timpani Box. I KNOW you would also greatly enjoy that new Mode release.

When I hear you speak of the Xenakian 'blobs', I wonder if you're only speaking of things like 'Kraanerg' (which, in the old Etcetera release at least, DOES have a dreary, amorphous quality) or 'Persepolis' or some of his messier '60s Works such as 'Strategie' (ay ay ay)? Or what about the sonic lobotomy that is 'Bohor'?

Sure, there is a lot of Excedrin inducing Xenakis, but, there's a lot of... pardon me, Cage AND ykw, that, from the '60s can be, you know. MOST of the Composers of High Modernism blossomed in the '70s-going-into-the-'80s, creating more Individual Works than their earlier, Damstadtian, heritage? Look at Lutoslawski- definite trajectory there: early-middle-late. Same with Xenakis, and most all others, no?

Try 'L'Isle de goree', what I may consider the most 'beautiful' Xenakis,...

but, the 'Zythos', with 6 marimbas, reminded me no less than of KHS's 'Heaven's Door' (in sound impact, not in actual 'notes'), but, I'm not really into comparing these two too much. I don't argue that Late Xenakis and Late KHS are worth comparing. Xenakis seems to retreat AND expand at the same time, whereas KHS seems to have a gargantuan Unifying Cycle that keeps him busy.

Late Xenakis is a head scratcher for sure, but, the more I put it in context, the more Total Originality seems to come from a bizarrely stark work like 'Zythos'. KHS may still be wielding some Virtuosity in his later years, but Xenakis knows how to play the wrong note at the right time, so to speak (for impact, memorability, remembrance).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 14, 2013, 08:42:47 AM
btw- the Forum has DEFINITELY turned Modern here lately, Haven't seen 'ole Haydn or Brian in a while! Good show!! onward, forward
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 14, 2013, 10:23:47 AM
You can pretty much start to understand Xenakis' later works with this video score of Ergma.

http://www.youtube.com/v/ltHMxRDKq3g

I actually think I'm liking it more now than I did several years ago. The most striking thing about it other than the fact that all of the strings play double stops throughout is that there are no rhythmic subdivision- at all.

Although the dissonance is as brutal as ever, it's neither testosterone driven nor cerebral...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 14, 2013, 10:27:28 AM
Choleric?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 14, 2013, 01:21:13 PM
Choleric?
Basically.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: not edward on November 14, 2013, 05:38:59 PM
You can pretty much start to understand Xenakis' later works with this video score of Ergma.

I actually think I'm liking it more now than I did several years ago. The most striking thing about it other than the fact that all of the strings play double stops throughout is that there are no rhythmic subdivision- at all.

Although the dissonance is as brutal as ever, it's neither testosterone driven nor cerebral...
It's not really *that* similar compositionally, but I find that late Xenakis sometimes has the same sort of effect as the tramping quarter notes that dominate a lot of Ustvolskaya.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: amw on November 15, 2013, 11:55:53 PM
It's not really *that* similar compositionally, but I find that late Xenakis sometimes has the same sort of effect as the tramping quarter notes that dominate a lot of Ustvolskaya.

That's a reasonable comparison. That said the aural effects of the "beating" dissonances in a work like Ergma or Ittidra are practically hallucinogenic, like trying to cause synaesthesia in non-synaesthetes, if that makes any sense. (Ustvolskaya comes close to that ideal in the 6th piano sonata, though not in very much else.) There's much more of a sense of some kind of mystico-religious vision, ecstasy without sensuousness. Obliteration of the self, even, helped along by the fact that the ensemble is typically moving in almost exact rhythmic unison. All this from an atheist too :P
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 16, 2013, 05:24:53 AM
There's much more of a sense of some kind of mystico-religious vision, ecstasy without sensuousness. Obliteration of the self, even, helped along by the fact that the ensemble is typically moving in almost exact rhythmic unison. All this from an atheist too :P

Goes to show how much of music is the listener projecting their own imagination and sensibilities :).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mr Bloom on November 16, 2013, 05:26:17 AM
You can pretty much start to understand Xenakis' later works with this video score of Ergma.
What I understood from people who knew Xenakis, from the middle of the 80's until he stopped composing in 1997, he was pretty much depressed and disillusioned. Hence the harsh style of these works and their lack of "seduction" that his music from the 70's had.
I also remember an interview from 95 or 96 where he said that all he wanted to do now was watch cartoons on TV.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Pessoa on November 16, 2013, 05:53:23 AM

I also remember an interview from 95 or 96 where he said that all he wanted to do now was watch cartoons on TV.
That´s where I started.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on November 16, 2013, 07:45:34 PM
What I understood from people who knew Xenakis, from the middle of the 80's until he stopped composing in 1997, he was pretty much depressed and disillusioned. Hence the harsh style of these works and their lack of "seduction" that his music from the 70's had.
I heard the same about Schnittke. Which is interesting, because Schnittke ended up attaining a similar style in the sense of slow moving dissonances with very little sensual appeal and very straightforward, except more sparse.


I also remember an interview from 95 or 96 where he said that all he wanted to do now was watch cartoons on TV.
Hahaha! This is too funny.  ;D

Is it this interview?
http://www.youtube.com/v/j4nj2nklbts

I haven't watched it yet, but I'm really curious about which would be the cartoons he's interested in. Probably typical Saturday morning cartoons (Bugs Bunny, Batman), but if it was Neon Genesis Evangelion that he watched, that would explain a lot.  ;D That show came out in 1995, and yeah... watching it can put you in a mindset of psychological breakdown and despair.

Probably he was just so knowledgeable at the point about Greek mythology that he wanted to move on to something else...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: CRCulver on November 17, 2013, 12:02:46 AM
What I understood from people who knew Xenakis, from the middle of the 80's until he stopped composing in 1997, he was pretty much depressed and disillusioned. Hence the harsh style of these works and their lack of "seduction" that his music from the 70's had.
I also remember an interview from 95 or 96 where he said that all he wanted to do now was watch cartoons on TV.

I thought it was pretty conclusive that Xenakis suffered from dementia in his last years, and that people had noticed signs of this as early as the late 1980s, so "depressed" and "disillusioned" may be a misunderstanding of his illness and not what he was actually feeling.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: kishnevi on November 17, 2013, 07:25:42 AM
I thought it was pretty conclusive that Xenakis suffered from dementia in his last years, and that people had noticed signs of this as early as the late 1980s, so "depressed" and "disillusioned" may be a misunderstanding of his illness and not what he was actually feeling.

Having had a parent with dementia--depression is really a normal facet of dementia, first when the sufferer begins to realize their mental powers are failing,  and then, as it progresses, become permanently confused by what's going on around them as they lose the power to understand and remember.   TV Cartoons presenting something easily understood, with limited vocabulary and easily predictable events, etc.  could well be something that attracts a dementia patient.

In reference to Xenakis in particular,  dementia would involve a slow, inevitable degradation in the ability to compose music, all the way to the point of being unable to do more than to say "oh, that's a pretty song".  In fact, the earliest stages, which generally occur well before anyone realized dementia is involved,  could account for any changes in Xenakis's style in his later compositions.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: not edward on November 17, 2013, 07:42:25 AM
I thought it was pretty conclusive that Xenakis suffered from dementia in his last years, and that people had noticed signs of this as early as the late 1980s, so "depressed" and "disillusioned" may be a misunderstanding of his illness and not what he was actually feeling.
I'm not sure exactly when he exactly was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but it was before his last works were finished (James Harley, who did a through survey of Xenakis' work, only mentions it being in the 1990s).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on November 17, 2013, 12:15:15 PM
Is it this interview?
http://www.youtube.com/v/j4nj2nklbts

Doesn't look like it is; an interesting aspect of that one is that one of the interviewers is eminent german "chaotician"/"fractalist" Heinz-Otto Peitgen (that sure throws me back to the early 90s!).

You should search for the interview with Harry Halbreich in the La Légende d'Eer DVD on Mode Records. Very sad to see him losing his train of thought in the middle of sentences...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mr Bloom on November 17, 2013, 03:40:23 PM
I thought it was pretty conclusive that Xenakis suffered from dementia in his last years, and that people had noticed signs of this as early as the late 1980s, so "depressed" and "disillusioned" may be a misunderstanding of his illness and not what he was actually feeling.
I agree with Jeffrey Smith on this question : I think it was both a sign and a consequence of his growing sickness. His sickness began in 1987 and he stopped to work on music in 1997.

Although his wife Francoise Xenakis wrote a heartbreaking book about the last years of his husband (Regarde, nos chemins se sont fermés), I'm not really willing to discuss the details of this kind of matters. It's really suppositions and I think it should stay as such.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: kishnevi on November 17, 2013, 07:29:11 PM
I agree with Jeffrey Smith on this question : I think it was both a sign and a consequence of his growing sickness. His sickness began in 1987 and he stopped to work on music in 1997.

Although his wife Francoise Xenakis wrote a heartbreaking book about the last years of his husband (Regarde, nos chemins se sont fermés), I'm not really willing to discuss the details of this kind of matters. It's really suppositions and I think it should stay as such.

I more or less agree, but it is highly relevant when discussing the music he composed at the end of his life.  Bear in mind that the effects of Alzheimer's start to appear, in mild form, long before anyone even thinks of the possibility.  In regard to musical composition,  it would have had effects on his musical style and the way he composed;  he would have found it increasingly difficult to compose any complex piece.

A few years ago, I read a piece regarding a noted British writer who, after her decease, was revealed to have Alzheimer's.  (Iris Murdoch, I think, but I may be remembering incorrectly.)  Someone made a study of her later novels, written when she was in what might be called the earliest stages of the disease,  and found that both the vocabulary and syntax became progressively simpler in comparison to her earlier works: her thought processes were, in essence, becoming less complex and  at the same time harder for her to express.    I think it more than a supposition to say a similar process must have been going on with Xenakis, and the differences between his last works and his earlier works may simply be due to that, and not any emotional effects of the disease.  Not having read the book you  refer to, or any other biographical material on him,  I would speculate that his decision to cease composition would have come when he found it not possible to express on paper the music he heard inside himself.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 09, 2013, 01:20:59 PM
. . . is not on the Uing.

I MEANT the work 'Eridanos', not 'Emprientes'. 'Eridanos' is THE work those who somewhat dislaike Xenakis should try,... James.

Eridanos
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 09, 2013, 01:28:25 PM
Jalons (1986)

This is the sole Xenakis work conducted by Boulez (Erato/Apex), and it is THICK! Unlike the somewhat more linear 'Thallein', 'Jalons' seems to take a little more time getting used to, but it has all the hallmarks, and sports a few harp solos which lend the piece distinction. For those who want to dive into the deep end cold, try "Jalons'. I'd say it's a companion piece to the similar 'harpsichord concerto' 'L'Isle de Goree', having a similar 'sad' (falling semi-tone) moment in the middle. The recording delivers all the instruments well, especially the burbling low brass notes and the piccolo, making for a 'hot live' feel.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on January 01, 2014, 02:03:37 PM
Jesus showed me he loved me by leading me to xenakis.musicportal.gr where, for the first time ever!, I finally heard samples of 99% of the works I've been clammering to hear! Thank You!

So, just to go through:

Sea-Change This is his last Orchestral Work, and I've been fantasizing what it must sound like, and I was slightly right, but Xenakis really DOES seem to signal 'sea change' because the work is very cleaned up and diaphonous(?)- it's got an expectant atmosphere- and Xenakian melody- that was quite refreshing for his penultimate work. Really sad Tamayo didn't record it. Can't wait to hear the whole thing.

Koianoi This was the other Late Orchestral Work that seemed to have eluded the microphone, but here- and this was the one I had really been whining about- here was an angrier version of 'Dammerschein' (everyone seems to like this one)- plus some of the 'Chorale of the Death of the Twilight of the Gods' brass chorale music which is always a welcome 'common' tonality in Xenakis. 'Koiranoi' has some of 'Roai' and other Late Works, but definitely seems to have its own course. Can't wait to hear this one too!

Pour les baleines(?) The classic short piece for String Orchestra is 4 minutes of Xenakian string textures- which is a wonderful thing! A great amalgam. Again, wish Tamayo would have recorded it. There are some sounds here that I may not have heard before. (and the 'whale' thing- don't worry about that!)

'The Takemitsu Piece' This starts out sounding just like 'Kai', very agressive Late mode, and then comes one of those uber-beautiful Xenakis moments when time stands still and a haunting melody unfolds. AGAIN!! wish tamayo would have recorded it!!

Mosaiques This 'Greatest Hits of the '90s' piece was familiar yet fun to hear in this guise. Please, yes.


Les bacchantes Xenakis's 'opera'??- well, it's 60 minutes with a baritone reciter, women's chorus, and ensemble- I think it's mostly speaking- in English Ibelieve! I could see this being somewhat tiresome- but it should be easy enough to record. Could win a Grammy?!

pye fyp windrup pee (not the right tit;le!!)- the piece for Children's Choir- another beautiful beautiful piece by Xenakis. Haters are not gonna have nada, mm mm mm.

Sea Nymphs The other Late Choral Work, nice echt Xenakis choral piece,- Xenakis does translate well to the chorus.


There are also alternative recordings of some of the controversial Late Works, the most helpful being a much slower 'Kai' than we are used to from the Vandenberg cd. FINALLY!! I'm starting to think Late Xenakis is quite the Masterpiece Era, it's just that some of the pieces ('Kai', 'Plekto', 'Kuilenn') haven't received reference recordings yet. My opinion of Xenakis's Late Music has increased dramatically after this smorgasbord of samples. The, what I believe to be, Arditti premiere of the String Sextet 'Ittidra' is also a very telling foil to the Mode recording.

Anyhow, there it is- now we just need actual recordings.


'Chant de Soleil'- for children's choir, 8 trp., 8 trb., 8 hrn.- 4 percussion... this one I didn't hear, but I can guess that this may very well be in the Xenakis 'beautiful' mode.

End transmission.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on January 02, 2014, 06:28:35 PM
Jesus showed me he loved me by leading me to xenakis.musicportal.gr where, for the first time ever!, I finally heard samples of 99% of the works I've been clammering to hear! Thank You!

So, just to go through:

Sea-Change This is his last Orchestral Work, and I've been fantasizing what it must sound like, and I was slightly right, but Xenakis really DOES seem to signal 'sea change' because the work is very cleaned up and diaphonous(?)- it's got an expectant atmosphere- and Xenakian melody- that was quite refreshing for his penultimate work. Really sad Tamayo didn't record it. Can't wait to hear the whole thing.

Koianoi This was the other Late Orchestral Work that seemed to have eluded the microphone, but here- and this was the one I had really been whining about- here was an angrier version of 'Dammerschein' (everyone seems to like this one)- plus some of the 'Chorale of the Death of the Twilight of the Gods' brass chorale music which is always a welcome 'common' tonality in Xenakis. 'Koiranoi' has some of 'Roai' and other Late Works, but definitely seems to have its own course. Can't wait to hear this one too!

Pour les baleines(?) The classic short piece for String Orchestra is 4 minutes of Xenakian string textures- which is a wonderful thing! A great amalgam. Again, wish Tamayo would have recorded it. There are some sounds here that I may not have heard before. (and the 'whale' thing- don't worry about that!)

'The Takemitsu Piece' This starts out sounding just like 'Kai', very agressive Late mode, and then comes one of those uber-beautiful Xenakis moments when time stands still and a haunting melody unfolds. AGAIN!! wish tamayo would have recorded it!!

Mosaiques This 'Greatest Hits of the '90s' piece was familiar yet fun to hear in this guise. Please, yes.


Les bacchantes Xenakis's 'opera'??- well, it's 60 minutes with a baritone reciter, women's chorus, and ensemble- I think it's mostly speaking- in English Ibelieve! I could see this being somewhat tiresome- but it should be easy enough to record. Could win a Grammy?!

pye fyp windrup pee (not the right tit;le!!)- the piece for Children's Choir- another beautiful beautiful piece by Xenakis. Haters are not gonna have nada, mm mm mm.

Sea Nymphs The other Late Choral Work, nice echt Xenakis choral piece,- Xenakis does translate well to the chorus.


There are also alternative recordings of some of the controversial Late Works, the most helpful being a much slower 'Kai' than we are used to from the Vandenberg cd. FINALLY!! I'm starting to think Late Xenakis is quite the Masterpiece Era, it's just that some of the pieces ('Kai', 'Plekto', 'Kuilenn') haven't received reference recordings yet. My opinion of Xenakis's Late Music has increased dramatically after this smorgasbord of samples. The, what I believe to be, Arditti premiere of the String Sextet 'Ittidra' is also a very telling foil to the Mode recording.

Anyhow, there it is- now we just need actual recordings.


'Chant de Soleil'- for children's choir, 8 trp., 8 trb., 8 hrn.- 4 percussion... this one I didn't hear, but I can guess that this may very well be in the Xenakis 'beautiful' mode.

End transmission.

Well, I'm excited anyhow!! I hope you all hear 'Sea-Change' some day- I'd almost say it sounds like Stockhausen!?!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 03, 2014, 04:17:40 AM
Heaven!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 12, 2014, 10:53:01 AM
Heaven!

It always is! :) :D ;D :laugh: ??? :( ::) :'(


So, I pretty well finally closed up the currect Xenakis Discography. And yes, the CDCDCD kicked in and I HAAAD to get even the cds that I wasn't totally sold on, but, oh well, it's not like anyone's rushing to record the last of the unrecorded output. :'(

We do have some confirmation of three Mode releases this year.

I don't know- I got nothing- I'm just down that I can't USE a New XenakisRrelease to soothe my world weary hurt. :(


Been listening a lot to 'Kraanerg', should sound great during snow storm!


Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on February 12, 2014, 11:01:24 AM
I recently bought this ~

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41b7xDWoSYL._SY300_.jpg)

And have been listening to it this week.

I have this as well, but haven't heard a note from it (yet). What do you think about it so far?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on February 12, 2014, 11:12:31 AM
I am not very well versed in his music, but since you asked ...

My feeling is that it is of historical value primarily, and for people who have little else of his, which would describe my collection.  I am up to the third disc and am liking it best.  The vocal work, Nuits did not thrill me, but everything else has been of interest and enjoyable.  I have no way to grade the performances, but as I said, most appear to be early recordings.

Ah, cool. I'll have to check it out.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 12, 2014, 11:36:49 AM
I am not very well versed in his music, but since you asked ...

My feeling is that it is of historical value primarily, and for people who have little else of his, which would describe my collection.  I am up to the third disc and am liking it best.  The vocal work, Nuits did not thrill me, but everything else has been of interest and enjoyable.  I have no way to grade the performances, but as I said, most appear to be early recordings.

Yes, I've collected most all Xenakis, and this came out only lately, with some very rare performances (like the verrry bracing 'Nuits'- the version on Arion is my favorite, gentler- this one certainly was a bit shocking from the first notes!). 'Anaktoria' is also a squalling noisefest for Mozatean Octet, which I'm not so sure you enjoyed, haha?! The version of 'Nomos Alpha' with S. Palm is one of the very best for that work.

I would say that 'Kekrops' on the 4th disc is the most... the moist... it's one of my favorites, the 3rd Xenakis Piano Concerto, a monster at 17minutes, all the best things in Xenakis, power, mystery, awe, viruosity. Tell me what you think. It starts off like some mad Stravinsky-meets-Jaws theme, absolutely delicious up to the entry of the piano.

There may not be much more on the 4th disc you like. I mean, this is just the culling of all the French Xenakis recordings, on Adda and Accord and such, so, it's really a shotgun approach which works best when you also have the RZ Editions 2cd set that's also available on Amazon. 'Historical recordings'- yes, you need both, because that fills in a lot of gaps here, and this set is a bit specialized for the non-Xenakian. I hate it when a prospective gets a cd from a Composer they don't like, and then don't pursue farther further. I would have held off on this one until later.

Do you have the Timpani Box? Number One Purchase. The EMI set is another set of essential old recordings. The Mode 'Percussion Works' is massive and satisfying. 'Kraanerg' is massive and exhausting.

Perhaps the Mode Complete Piano with Aki Takahashi? Complete Cello Works with Arne Deforce?  The new Mode 'Ensemble Music 3' is spectacular, with crucial pieces. The other Aki album of 'Piano Works' (Mode).

That's my list, somewhat in order! Also String Music with either the Arditti or JACK. There, that should keep one busy for a little while. Put away this Box for a while, or just listen to the pieces you like- wait till you hear the first piece on disc 4, 'Charisma'- if you don't like Xenakis, this is the piece I never liked until recently- let's see what you think, haha!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 12, 2014, 11:40:42 AM
yES, THE xENAKIS dISCOGRAPHY IS NOW in order (sorryZ) , SO don't let me hear anyone getting a Xenakis disc they don't like. We only try to steer you to the PROPER discs so that you won't get the wrong idea, or be prematurely turned off. The Tamayo Box is Number One. No discussion there. Then, we've discussed furthering. Don't worry, no one will probably go to the lengths I have, so don't be a smart-aleck and get the cds we haven't approved for beginners! Much damage can be done with the wrong performance or piece! Xenakis CAn be dangerous!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 12, 2014, 12:24:19 PM
Testify, dude!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on February 12, 2014, 01:39:00 PM
I still think Hiketides is one of my favorite Xenakis works. The very end is hauntingly beautiful.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ibanezmonster on February 12, 2014, 03:05:08 PM
The Tamayo Box is Number One.
Yeah, great place to start.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on February 12, 2014, 04:46:02 PM
I've found the Tamayo recordings on MOG.

Those are excellent. Enjoy!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on February 14, 2014, 07:26:30 AM
Yes, all of the Timpani orchestral recordings are also on NML. 

What do you think of this two-fer?  I know these works are all (?) found elsewhere, but it might be interesting to hear other interpretations of these works.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51P-IFnpzQL._SX300_.jpg)

The download is under $10.

Also, snyprrr are you the reviewer on Amazon writing under the name "21st Century Reviews"?

I haven't heard that set, but it looks interesting. Maybe someone else could shed some light on it?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: not edward on February 14, 2014, 07:57:10 AM
I haven't heard that set, but it looks interesting. Maybe someone else could shed some light on it?
I wouldn't regard it as essential: many of the works on it have received superior readings since the originals were published.

It's a good way to fill some gaps in a Xenakis collection, though.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 14, 2014, 07:58:47 AM
Yes, all of the Timpani orchestral recordings are also on NML. 

What do you think of this two-fer?  I know these works are all (?) found elsewhere, but it might be interesting to hear other interpretations of these works.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51P-IFnpzQL._SX300_.jpg)

The download is under $10.

Also, snyprrr are you the reviewer on Amazon writing under the name "21st Century Reviews"?

The EMI set perfectly compliments the 'A&O' Box.

As to your last question, I have absolutely positively no idea what you're talking about! I mean, just look at the grammar and syntax, they're totally different. That guy just drones on and on.  I mean, to accuse me like that... the nerve... uh, I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!


Now, where's my winnings?!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 14, 2014, 08:14:49 AM
I haven't heard that set, but it looks interesting. Maybe someone else could shed some light on it?

The set has THREE essential recordings that aren't available anywhere else, I believe, and that is 'ST-10', the original chamber version of the SQ 'ST-4'm and 'Atrees', which also falls into the 'ST' ('Stochastic Composition')family of works. Atrees, imo, is X's smoothest and slinkiest and elegant stochastic work- it comes off somewhat mellower than the usual- the events aren't so fast- it's also a good 15mins. The third is the choral/ensemble work 'Polla ta Dihna' which I like a lot, a bit like 'Hiketides' meets 'Medea' (though, no 'beautiful' section MI).

The remaining pieces are, yes, very early, and, compared to modern interpreters it appears as if some (the cello work) are really busting their spleen on them but, for instance, Pludermacher's 'Herma' is the earthiest recording ever- you can just feel the newness, the rawness,... he really goes for it! Pierre Penassou seems to have a bit of a time with 'Nomos Alpha', but it's always fun to hear people get through this work. Just compare to the Palm, very interesting. Palm reeeally lays into it!

'Akrata' is a Premiere, but just compare to the Tamayo Box to hear how far we've come. Still, ALL these recordings have the AIR molecules of excitement and raw newness that make them so compelling. One especially relishes mere mortals struggling with these granitic objects of sound- truly architectural.



Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 14, 2014, 08:46:59 AM
Sea-Change (1997?)

If you go to the Wiki entry, go to the link at the bottom, a Greek site, where you can actually hear samples from most of his works, including his last Orchestral Work, Sea-Change. Tell me his style wasn't changing here. I mean, it's quite an odd thing, but definitely sounds like Xenakis- the basses intone that familiar melodic string writing. Yet, the orchestra is left with a single octave-like chord (that LvB octave thing) that tolls like a bell- or a portent.

So, there's another Greek site, studio52.gr, where, apparently (we'll find out) one can get this piece on a compilation disc (I'll let you know if it shows- just check the site), so, maybe, on 'Koiranoi' is the only of the Last Works unavailable (this too has a sample, and reveals a work worthy of comparison to 'Dammerschein'!).

Again, it would be nice if we just had at least one recording of every piece, but we still have a few:

XENAKIS 1:

'Strategie' is available from Ozawa, but the other 'Game Theory' piece, 'Duel' has never been available. Perhaps these are the pieces X specifically didn't like (as maybe gleaned from a Halbrecht(?) interview), and Strategie (on YT) is quite one of X's noisiest pieces (2 Orchestras in a Death Match). Perhaps Duel is even more so, and maybe X would think it better we didn't hear it?

XENAKIS 2:

From the culmination of the entire first part of his career (I'd say 1972 is the cut-off) we have the brass trio 'Linea Agon', which I've been told will be one of Mode's three releases this year (in 3 versions!). So, hopefully we can lop this off the list.

XENAKIS 3:

First, we have the Choral/Orchestral Masterpieces 'Cendrees' (Erato LP), 'Nekuia' (Erato LP), and 'Anemoessa' (available on Globe Box 'Dutch Miracle'). Will they ever been transferred? I'm hoping soon.

From the High Classic Period (1973/5-1986/8) we have the short String Orchestra piece 'Pour les balienes' (samples at site), another wonderful string work from around the time of 'Shaar' and 'Tetras'.

'Pour Maurice' for baritone and piano, a short piece that inexplicably didn't show up on any Complete Piano Works disc- or even the Aki disc 'Works with Piano'- I mean, Philip Larson has been recording all the other vocal pieces. Oh well, I'll ask Brian at Mode.

'Chant des soliel' for childre'ns chorus and sets of identical brass, and percussion. Another apparently very interesting piece (no sample) that one can only imagine. I'd say there's good stuff here- why Schick hasn't offered this yet makes me wonder if they will put it with 'Alax', a very major piece heralding the transitional late style- also with three identical ensembles (at 26mins., one of X's longest).

'Nyuyo', for Japanese instruments, has one standard instrument recording (Cecile Deroux), but will most likely get the Mode treatment at some point.

XENAKIS 4:

From the 'Early Late' Period (1986/88-@1992/3) we have the Takemitsu memorial (DO check out the sample- there is a very beautiful section towards the end, MI), and the retrospective piece 'Mosiaques', which puts together sections from Orchestral Works 1986-1991 (not perhaps essential, but c;mon!).

Then we have this hour long curiosity of an oratorio, or what have you, 'The Bacchantes', for solo vocal (and reciting), chorus and ensemble. Given the sample, the hour might be taken up with a lot of talking, but, inquiring minds want to know.

We also need the two final Choral Works, the piece with the nonsense title for children's chorus, and 'Sea Nymphs' (available on YT I believe). The Hyperion disc came out before these were Composed.

XENAKIS 5:

From the very final phase we only have 'Koiranoi' (by now I really know how to spell it!), which, according to the sample, has one of those awesome X Chorales like he was cultivating in the final years. Xenakis's melody reminds me of the opening of the gates of King Kong or something- there is undeniable power and majesty in his melodic curve- X really seemed to love the chorale.

We also need new recordings of the ensemble works 'Plekto', 'Kai', and 'Kuillenn' (must be coming from Mode at some point).

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 14, 2014, 08:48:51 AM
Look at me! I've got nothing better to do with my life than Post endless drivel about dead guys? No wonder I have no date for the evening. >:( :laugh: :'( :P :blank:
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2014, 10:58:43 AM
Jonchaies (http://www.iannis-xenakis.org/xen/read/listen.html)

https://www.youtube.com/v/Gb-9j04PGN8

"The cornerstone of Xenakis’s output is Jonchaies, written in 1977 in a very subjective style, as Xenakis himself would be the first to qualify. It calls for one hundred and nine musicians, with four flutes, oboes and bassoons, six clarinets and six horns, four trumpets and four trombones with a tuba, along with seventy strings massed against the wind and percussion. Although the strings are thus perfectly audible, Xenakis allows them no rein for sensuality or sentimentality, and forbids all vibrato; in fact, many of the parts are headed with a global warning against vibrato. The title Jonchaies (strewn branches) has no botanical allusions but refers to the structure of the piece and its densely interwoven polyphony which fluctuates like rushes spread out upon the ground."

Courtesy of Col Legno Records.

A brutal work, but I love every minute of it. :) Xenakis isn't for the faint of heart, but if a listener enjoys rhythms that bludgeon one over the head, then Jonchaies will be right up your alley. 8) Like Stravinsky and Bartok on a heavy dosage of PCP.

I still think Hiketides is Xenakis' finest orchestral work. What do you think about this work, SA?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2014, 11:45:59 AM
You're right about the brutality of the work.  I want to listen to it when I am alone in the house so I can turn the volume up and get a better sense of the power of the music. 

If you have not visited this site (http://www.iannis-xenakis.org/xen/works/works.html) before, it has a plethora of information about Xenakis and the music.

That's a great site for sure. I've visited there many times. I turned up the volume on Jonchaies whenever I was on a Xenakis kick and I even played it quite loudly for my mom who actually liked the work a lot. The louder the better is always preferred for Xenakis. 8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 16, 2014, 12:36:21 PM
That's a great site for sure. I've visited there many times. I turned up the volume on Jonchaies whenever I was on a Xenakis kick and I even played it quite loudly for my mom who actually liked the work a lot. The louder the better is always preferred for Xenakis. 8)

All the Mode cds have the Ziggy Stardust injunction- PLAY LOUD!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: 7/4 on February 17, 2014, 05:12:20 AM
I have a shelf full of Xenakis CDs, this is a favorite:

(http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn38/microtonaldave/Xenakischambermusic_zpsf30176fa.jpg)

I'm sure this has been mentioned before.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 17, 2014, 03:54:05 PM
I have a shelf full of Xenakis CDs, this is a favorite:

(http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn38/microtonaldave/Xenakischambermusic_zpsf30176fa.jpg)

I'm sure this has been mentioned before.

That's the cover I have- love it- much better than the other two. I remember looking at that cover and thinking, Oo, boy does he look bad-ass... they all do with their suits like they're a daaangerous rock band, which, of course, they are! Like what King Krimson should have been- ok, they need to electrify, buuut!! 'Tetora' was so new back then and really had a strong new feel.

However, we never got Vol.2, how ever that would have come about, And Mode hasn't gotten around to the solos, duos, and trio yet- THAT should be something! Hopefully I'm not just projecting here, mm. The Arditti set has a drier, and dare I used the work 'brittle' (I mean it in the good way so don't ask!), whereas the JACK disc is a worthy update, sumptuously recorded.

The Arditti set is a time and a place that still seem a bit more exciting than now, mm?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 17, 2014, 03:57:39 PM
That's a great site for sure. I've visited there many times. I turned up the volume on Jonchaies whenever I was on a Xenakis kick and I even played it quite loudly for my mom who actually liked the work a lot. The louder the better is always preferred for Xenakis. 8)

What do you think of two of the most obscure works on the Timpani Box, the cosmic 'Emprientes' and the water-based 'Eridanos'? The latter is one of X's most Impressionistic works I believe, listen to the first minute and you might hear a glimpse of Satie!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on March 06, 2014, 01:28:19 PM
Sea-Change (1997)

Symphony Orchestra of Bulgaria, Alkis Panayotopoulos (LYRA) lyra.gr studio52.gr

Here it is, Xenakis's Last Orchestral Work. It's available on a Greek CD entitled "Works for Orchestra by Greek Composers Vol.4", and you will most certainly be eagerly anticipation its arrival from the Birthplace of Democracy!

'Sea-Change' by the BBC SO, Premiered by Andrew Davies on July 23m 1997 at Albert Hall. What is curious is that the Official Xenakis Works List catalogues this piece as being 10 minutes, but, I recall a quote about how odd and short the "Proms" piece was. I always thought the quote referred to the 4 minute 'O-Mega', but, here too, the music lasts 3:56! So, either everyone plays this piece almost three times too fast, or there is an error higher up. Personally, from what I've heard, this piece could sound very cosmic indeed at 12 minutes (for a nice indulgent example).

There are three basic elements I hear: a Beethovenian 'octave-chord', which is later met with a reprise of the giant glissando from 'Metastaseis', and the brass chorale depicted in the Lutoslawski tribute piece for four brass. And there is a somewhat mournful Xenakis-melody in the cellos and basses that gives the piece an almost sad quality. Indeed, if this piece were played to the ten minutes called for, it would be probably the most cosmic piece ever written. Perhaps Xenakis meant for the notes to be played that slow, I don't know, but at the four minute running time, the piece does sound 'right'. But, much Late Xenakis seems to work at different tempi. Perhaps the enigma is what Xenakis intended? Is there anyone else who can comment?

Still, it is nice to have X's last statement for Orchestra, though, indeed, it is quite enigmatic, and over with before you know it. Poof! it's gone,... intention? Hmm...

EDIT:

I listened further, and this piece really does have a sadness to it. The effect is somewhat like the Ives piece, but with more independent strands, as if all the noise of the 20th century were carried along by a comet's tail. It's quite dismaying how quickly the piece ends. But it's interesting how one hears things from 'Metastaseis' and 'Waarg', little bits of Xenakis through time, as it were a scroll rolling up. The strings either stick on one tone, or cascade in that good old Xenakis glassdi way. At the climax point, all groups are just doing their own thing, as everything seems to be swept up into one tone,... always just one tone at the end...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on March 06, 2014, 05:46:24 PM
What do you think of two of the most obscure works on the Timpani Box, the cosmic 'Emprientes' and the water-based 'Eridanos'? The latter is one of X's most Impressionistic works I believe, listen to the first minute and you might hear a glimpse of Satie!

I don't remember these works, but now that you mention it I'll check them out.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on March 07, 2014, 07:51:06 AM
I don't remember these works, but now that you mention it I'll check them out.

Please do! they do tend to slip by the radar. I think you'll like 'Eridanos' (listen to is as "water music"- 'Eridanos' being one of the four rivers of Greek mythology).
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on March 07, 2014, 07:53:55 AM
Please do! they do tend to slip by the radar. I think you'll like 'Eridanos' (listen to is as "water music"- 'Eridanos' being one of the four rivers of Greek mythology).

I like the idea of 'water music'. :) Sounds cool. Kind of like Martin's orchestral suite The Four Elements. There's one movement titled L'eau and it's quite mesmerizing.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: 7/4 on March 09, 2014, 06:25:35 AM
On March 9th the JACK Quartet will perform all of the string quartets in Philadelphia.

http://www.bowerbird.org/newsite/events/140309/

http://www.youtube.com/v/5_iyJyy7S5U

Boy, I wish I could make that one. Even if I had the time, I couldn't afford the trip now.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on March 09, 2014, 06:41:37 PM
Boy, I wish I could make that one. Even if I had the time, I couldn't afford the trip now.

mm, missed it by thaaat much :'(
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on April 16, 2014, 07:12:08 AM
A treat! From the Bowerbird concert in Philadelphia last month, here are the four Xenakis quartets  by the JACK Quartet, filmed by Bob Sweeney.

ST-4/1,080262 (1956-62)
http://vimeo.com/91465504

Tetras (1983)
http://vimeo.com/91571707

Tetora (1990)
http://vimeo.com/91376523

Ergma (1994)
http://vimeo.com/91567602

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 17, 2014, 11:05:39 AM
A treat! From the Bowerbird concert in Philadelphia last month, here are the four Xenakis quartets  by the JACK Quartet, filmed by Bob Sweeney.

ST-4/1,080262 (1956-62)
http://vimeo.com/91465504

Tetras (1983)
http://vimeo.com/91571707

Tetora (1990)
http://vimeo.com/91376523

Ergma (1994)
http://vimeo.com/91567602

--Bruce

gaaah >:D, looks like I'll have to try another computer. :(

Oh, when, oh when will Mode begin the cavalcade of Xenakis Releases for 2014?? huh huh when when We have been promised three, but I can see one being 'Electronic Music 3', and we know one is the brass trio game 'Linea-Agon' (for the whole cd!), so, that leaves a third mystery. Any pigeons talking in the city??
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: milk on July 02, 2014, 01:13:49 AM
I'm just discovering Pleiades and I am blown away by it. Riveting!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: North Star on July 02, 2014, 03:24:51 AM
I'm just discovering Pleiades and I am blown away by it. Riveting!
Pleiades is great!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: milk on July 02, 2014, 03:40:40 AM
Pleiades is great!
It's amazing to me that one can seemingly mix up all these rhythms and still have them sound coherent. I'm still at the beginning stage of listening. But I love the color of the music and the effect it has on me. It's really mesmerizing music.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 02, 2014, 06:20:18 AM
It's amazing to me that one can seemingly mix up all these rhythms and still have them sound coherent. I'm still at the beginning stage of listening. But I love the color of the music and the effect it has on me. It's really mesmerizing music.

Just so you know- the Harmonia Mundi has the worst sound of all. I always recommend the Denon, followed by the BIS, followed by the Mode. There's even a good one on Erato/OOP, but, if you have the HM, please check out one of the others.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: milk on July 02, 2014, 01:42:37 PM
Just so you know- the Harmonia Mundi has the worst sound of all. I always recommend the Denon, followed by the BIS, followed by the Mode. There's even a good one on Erato/OOP, but, if you have the HM, please check out one of the others.
Thanks for the tip. I have the Mode.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 02, 2014, 08:13:49 PM
Thanks for the tip. I have the Mode.

Check out the two harpsichord pieces and tell me what you think. Also, the ending of 'Persephassa' is absolutely extraordinary.yEA, that's a great set- though, the 'Rebonds' I can't won't- sorry, i'd have to consider it the worst i've ever heard- interpretation wise.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: milk on July 02, 2014, 08:24:23 PM
Check out the two harpsichord pieces and tell me what you think. Also, the ending of 'Persephassa' is absolutely extraordinary.yEA, that's a great set- though, the 'Rebonds' I can't won't- sorry, i'd have to consider it the worst i've ever heard- interpretation wise.
OK. I'll give you my reaction. It's taken me a while to get to this stuff even though you recommended it a while back. It didn't immediately click but I think now is the time. These are pretty extensive works. Let's see what I can handle on my commute tomorrow! I was just reading about his life - pretty eventful!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: milk on July 04, 2014, 06:26:44 AM
Check out the two harpsichord pieces and tell me what you think. Also, the ending of 'Persephassa' is absolutely extraordinary.yEA, that's a great set- though, the 'Rebonds' I can't won't- sorry, i'd have to consider it the worst i've ever heard- interpretation wise.
I'm liking everything here. And I'm finding it inspiring. I love the harpsichord stuff. I totally see what you mean when you say that Xenakis is the antidote to Feldman and vice versa. Very good way to look at it. I wouldn't have thought if it since they're so different in a way. But in another way one is the negative of the other. But I don't know how to describe more what I mean or what you mean. Different kinds of patterns that could be chaotic if they weren't somehow organic. Nothing so much subtle in Xenakis in a good way. The harpsichord stuff hooks me. And it surprises me how it totally works - I wouldn't think of putting those timbres together. Persephassa is great too - but I'd love to get the live concept. Has anyone here experienced this stuff live? The instruments are supposed to be placed around the space? A year ago I wouldn't have made sense of any of this music; now it's all I want. (I also have this crazy notion that "pop music" should be more like this some day...Here in Japan, I keep wanting the kids to forget about punk rock and start thinking about chaos...if there is ever to be a counter the way punk was a counter to something back in the day instead of the hobby it's become.)   
I like the tribal element to Xenakis - by the way. Now that's something not comparable to Feldman who is much more about the beauty of natural desolation. I wonder if I can get this into Ligeti some day.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: milk on July 11, 2014, 01:00:56 AM
Mr/ Xenakis and Mr. Feldman in conversation:

http://ada.evergreen.edu/~arunc/texts/music/xenakisFeldman.pdf
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen THE SNOW GOES NO FARTHER THAN IT DOES
Post by: snyprrr on August 15, 2014, 11:30:42 AM
As Shostakovich and Xenakis just don't mix, poor Iannis has been put in the hamper for a season.  When it boils down, IX really has quite a modest sized Oeuvre. And it's quite delineated, so one can see the whole in one's mind's eye, like giant monsters from a distance, to scale.

Brian at Mode promised us three New Releases this year, and 8 1/2 months later we have to start wondering. The only New Release so far - Coming Soon- is yet another version of something I don't even care to remember. The thing is- the f.a.c.t. is is that "they" only record about 3-4 of IX's pieces, so, that's pretty much what we're going to get For Ever, unless Brian, or someone, takes it upon themselves to just get those last few Unreleased pieces out. And I do know that they would be difficult pieces to mount, given fiscal realities (perhaps Brian is stocking up on preps and moving out of the city??).

I embarrass myself with all this... Buying. :-[
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: CRCulver on October 30, 2014, 02:27:03 AM
I hadn't heard the Naïve/Montaigne disc (http://"http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005TNRK?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00005TNRK&linkCode=xm2&tag=3636363-20") with Xenakis's Oresteia for a few years before I put it on today. Though most of the work was written in the mid-1960s, the "Cassandra" movement is an 1987 addition and appears to have sparked controversy. Looking at Xenakis's list of works, I was surprised that a few years after this recording, in 1992, he added yet another movement titled La déesse Athéna. Has anyone heard that? Is there a radio recording floating around?

EDIT: Well, I should have known to look to Youtube, as a recording is available there (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYlvFTGdCgQ). I discovered classical music in a time when such recordings had to be furtively passed around on filesharing networks like Soulseek. I'm not used to the fact that anything one is looking for is readily found on YT.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: amw on October 30, 2014, 04:05:45 PM
I hadn't heard the Naïve/Montaigne disc (http://"http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005TNRK?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00005TNRK&linkCode=xm2&tag=3636363-20") with Xenakis's Oresteia for a few years before I put it on today. Though most of the work was written in the mid-1960s, the "Cassandra" movement is an 1987 addition and appears to have sparked controversy. Looking at Xenakis's list of works, I was surprised that a few years after this recording, in 1992, he added yet another movement titled La déesse Athéna. Has anyone heard that? Is there a radio recording floating around?
There's a CD recording on Mode (mode 58), which couples it with Dämmerschein (1994, first recording), Persephassa and Varèse's Amériques. Xenakis himself supervised the recordings.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 17, 2015, 02:15:24 PM
For our friend snyprrr ...



(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71c4SP-Du5L._SL1471_.jpg)

The Hypnotic Groove Of Xenakis
By TOM HUIZENGA • 22 HOURS AGO

Percussionists back in Beethoven's day could be forgiven for feeling a little bored, waiting for the infrequent roll of the kettledrum or the occasional cymbal crash. But as orchestras grew bigger, percussionists got busier — even more so after World War I, when a new generation of composers began writing specifically for percussion.

Composers like John Cage and Edgard Varèse expanded musical horizons for percussionists and others, like Iannis Xenakis and Pierre Boulez, followed their lead. The music, whether for soloist or ensemble, moved percussion into the spotlight and helped set standards for performance practice.

Japanese percussionist Kuniko Kato (who goes by the single name Kuniko) studied in Tokyo under marimba virtuoso Keiko Abe. Later she was the first percussionist to graduate from the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music.

Kuniko's new album, IX, is a terrific all-Xenakis affair devoted to two of his best-known percussion pieces.

In Pléïdes, four movements for six percussionists, Kuniko overdubs herself playing each part (watch a fascinating video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-yERhrWQbo&feature=em-upload_owner)). But in the two-part Rebonds ("Rebounds") she is truly alone with her pair of bongos, a tumba (large conga), tom-tom, bass drums and a set of five wood blocks.

Xenakis might be considered cerebral (he was also an architect obsessed with geometry and math), but part B of Rebonds has a hypnotic, nearly danceable groove sustained by quick pulses in the bongos and fat punctuations from the bass drums. Kuniko lays out the rhythmic layers cleanly and with confidence. She doesn't play them speedily (like Pedro Carneiro), but instead opts for fluidity and a distinctive bounce that just might make your hips sway.


sorry, had to roll my eyes at yet another false expectation- she's cute, but that's not going to mitigate against the insurmountable everest that is her competition for aaanyone's hard earned FRNs in this rep.

And hot on her heels is Timpani's new recording of his Piano Works, by some curator of modern Xenaphilia. I mean, Mode promised me THREE RELEASES IN 2014 and didn't come through with any.- unrecorded pieces and everything  :'(..............

I think we may never get a Full Discography for IX, At this point in the financial reset, how can it possibly be?

waaaaah
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTHIN
Post by: snyprrr on December 27, 2015, 02:09:20 PM
Nothing... nothing at all...

nothing from Mode...

nothing...




again,... nothing... and IF there is a new 'Rebonds' or 'Evryali', no one cares,... it's passed the point of caredom here, wtf?? Stock in Xenakis at historical lows, and still some iconic pieces languish... yea, this plays beautifully into my bitter holiday rant, bwahahaha... oh wait, I'M the one suffering here, zoinks!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Artem on December 27, 2015, 07:14:03 PM
This was released recently. I wonder how it compares to Takahashi on Mode.

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: lescamil on December 27, 2015, 07:37:29 PM
This was released recently. I wonder how it compares to Takahashi on Mode.



It's available on Naxos Music Library. I will give it a listen shortly. It will be interesting to hear how he can handle some of these pieces. I have yet to hear a satisfying reading for many of these works.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on December 28, 2015, 12:15:49 AM



 I am really drawn to the Late Works of these Final Masters of High Modernism... he's about one of the last...

Did you enjoy Tetora and Ergma? It would be interesting to know if he said anything about what he was trying to do in these later quartets, which seem so different from Tetras.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on January 01, 2016, 10:06:23 AM
Did you enjoy Tetora and Ergma? It would be interesting to know if he said anything about what he was trying to do in these later quartets, which seem so different from Tetras.

'Tetora' I think is fantastic in it sandy desertscape of rigidity... 'Ergma' is a wtf moment... as with much of his LateLateLate work... 'Tetora' stands alone, though...

'Zythos' is one of the blankest pieces ever, though, the orchestral work 'Sea-Change' has a lot of the old IX in it including glissandi.


he claimed he simply wrote what he hadn't already wrote, so, he eschewed all the "excitement" of his earlier work...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on January 02, 2016, 10:01:15 AM
'Tetora' I think is fantastic in it sandy desertscape of rigidity... 'Ergma' is a wtf moment... as with much of his LateLateLate work... 'Tetora' stands alone, though...

'Zythos' is one of the blankest pieces ever, though, the orchestral work 'Sea-Change' has a lot of the old IX in it including glissandi.


he claimed he simply wrote what he hadn't already wrote, so, he eschewed all the "excitement" of his earlier work...

I thought that the Jack Tetora was more interesting than the Arditti, something to do with the quality of their sound, less blended maybe, I'm not sure. I shall check out Sea Change, I find Zythos a bit of a challenge.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on January 10, 2016, 10:19:07 AM
I thought that the Jack Tetora was more interesting than the Arditti, something to do with the quality of their sound, less blended maybe, I'm not sure. I shall check out Sea Change, I find Zythos a bit of a challenge.

'Zythos' literally sounds like 'Silent Night' to me- meaning, I see a peaceful white blanket of snow, the peace of christmas eve kind of thing, very stereotype nordic homey feel (the marimbas and the silence), and then the silver beam/fire thingy that is the trombone... it's such such a stark stark piece of sonic arche... I'm not saying how I feel about it, but I do give IX credit here for a supre,mely WTF?!? moment, for sure, haha.

Somehwere, we can hear a snippet of 'Koiranoi', the second to the last IX orchestral work, which apparently has a premiere recording but no physical release, and that piece too seems to have much more interest (as with 'Sea-Change') than oth Late IX.... maybe, had he lived, we would have been treated to a final burst of creative genius?


per 'Tetora' JACK vs Arditti... the music itself is so smooth and seamless that the only thing left to comment on IS the actually sound the performers make: I find the Arditti bring out the sandy, gritty, raw dune power of the dry dryness, whereas the JACK have a much smoother and silkier tone, giving the sand a moist sheen of oil... I do like the JACK...

where is the REST of the Mode Chamber Music Series???????? There seems to be a JACK Vol.2 that could be had, but, aye, we're going to have to call Brian at Mode and see what happened...
Title: From 2010, "Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary"
Post by: Brewski on January 12, 2016, 07:46:10 PM
On another thread, a comment about graphic scores made me recall this 2010 exhibition at The Drawing Center in New York, titled Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary. Here is the archived page about the show, and if you scroll down, the complete, 154-page catalog is still available to view (or to buy).

http://www.drawingcenter.org/en/drawingcenter/5/exhibitions/14/past/355/iannis-xenakis/

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on April 11, 2016, 11:16:34 AM
Just found this terrific live performance of Tetras by the JACK Quartet, from just a few months ago - audio and video - taped at the New College of Florida. At this point, the JACK players must have done this piece over a hundred times, all over the world, and that experience shows. If you're inclined, it's a riveting experience.

http://icareifyoulisten.tv/jack-quartet-tetras-by-iannis-xenakis/

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 04, 2016, 08:37:31 AM
Looks like I'll be hopping from Cage to Xenakis. I am seeing so much more between these two now. Reading how their critics use gobble-gook language of the High Serialists to try and de-legitimize(?- why is there no speell check??) their procedures...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: James on September 04, 2016, 11:53:33 AM
Looks like I'll be hopping from Cage to Xenakis. I am seeing so much more between these two now. Reading how their critics use gobble-gook language of the High Serialists to try and de-legitimize(?- why is there no speell check??) their procedures...

Xenakis himself didn't care at all for Cage, and essentially felt 'twas inept & pointless.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on September 04, 2016, 08:54:58 PM
Xenakis himself didn't care at all for Cage, and essentially felt 'twas inept & pointless.
I didn't know that, so thanks. Where did you learn that Xenakis said that Cage's music was inept and pointless, and that he didn't care for it at all?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 05, 2016, 08:17:44 AM
lol, James has left the building...


My point was that the "establishment", who didn't like Cage's "procedures", also didn't like Xenakis's. I think both feldman and Cage could have utilized Xenakian methodology a little more. Their percussion works, like 'Four4', could stand perhaps with a little math in them... uhhh.... I mean....

"Oh, your bloops and bleeps are all messed up, man. Here, listen how my bloops and bleeps are right where they're supposed to be."


Please someone tell me how I'm supposed to "see" Boulez's Piano Sonata No.3 any differently than ... oh, help me out here... I'm looking for a Determinist Work and an Indeterminist Work that a lay person would have difficulty distinguishing... any?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Artem on September 23, 2016, 09:03:44 PM
I never associated Xenakis music with Feldman before, but now I strongly hear Feldman in Akea and Paille in the Wind from this CD, which are terrific pieces, by the way. There's some Stravinsky in Akea, probably, too.

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on September 29, 2016, 08:49:55 PM
Overheard at a concert tonight, the second night of four by the Momenta Quartet. After some 20th and 21st-century Japanese works, the group ended with Beethoven's Quartet in F major, Op. 135:

"Beethoven was the Xenakis of the 19th century."

 8)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 04, 2016, 06:56:21 AM
I may write a blog article, if not a uni essay on Xenakis' late works. As his biggest fan, I'll probably be the best one to do it  :P

I'm noting this here, as I will return  8)

goading noted :-* :laugh:

Now go listen to 'Zythos' 78 times!! ???



Yea, so I'm still wondering what happened to Mode's Xenakis Series. :(

I dooooo get tired when the only IX releases are just endless new performances of 'Rebonds', oy vey... throw me a bone why doncha....


hey- do you know where I can hear 'Korinorai' (bad spelling- one of his last Orchestral Works- there's a recording, but no commercial way of getting it)?????
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 04, 2016, 02:37:48 PM
So I get a hunch you're a big Xenakian too!  :D this is good!

I'm taking on your Zythos challenge even if you meant it as a joke. I've already overlistened to plenty of Xenakis' early works when I was first obsessed with him.

I think a chronological Xenakis Series needs to be put out, personally.
(Even though I've done it myself via playlists)

Unfortunately I don't know how to obtain Koïranoï. It's one of a few small holes in his relatively large output. Same goes for several scores. I've contacted all the publishers associated with Xenakis, trying to obtain a few particular scores but it seems that certain works need to be published again  ???

Yeah man, the Rebounds thing is quite funny. I do find it frustrating when you converse with people who say they like Xenakis yet have only ever heard Rebounds  :laugh:

i hear ya

You know, I DID start a "Xenakis Late Works" Thread... I'll bump it... I think it's nothing special at the moment... let's see...
Title: It Is Never Too Late
Post by: arpeggio on November 07, 2016, 02:04:07 PM
I have never cared for Xenakis.

My nine year old grandson is just discovering classical music.  He is learning it from his music classes in public elementary school.  He and many of his friends have signed up for viola in the school orchestra program.  His favorite composers are Tchaikovsky, Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.

He was curious about modern music so I played this an old LP recording I had of Metastaseis.  He flipped out.

Not only did he flip out but after all of these years his sixty-nine year grandfather had an epiphany.  Rats!!!!!!!!!! >:( I now have to start adding Xenakis to my library.

I dare not mention this at Talk Classical.  Many of the old curmudgeons who now control that forum would freak out.
Title: Re: It Is Never Too Late
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on November 07, 2016, 02:14:06 PM

He was curious about modern music so I played this an old LP recording I had of Metastaseis.  He flipped out.

"Flipped out" in a positive or negative way?

Also, is that the Vanguard LP conducted by Maurice Le Roux? I've got that.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: nathanb on November 08, 2016, 08:41:08 PM
I made a speech today in that damn communications class I have to take. I talked about some music. Specifically, it went: Gruppen, Atlas Eclipticalis, Metastasis, Les Espaces Acoustiques.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: nathanb on November 09, 2016, 08:36:45 AM
Awesome, how did it go man? Great to see you back btw   ;D

It was okish. Relative to the other people, good. I was kinda nervous so I don't think I conveyed some shit properly, but I found some pretty helpful visual aids. I was never gone, I was just smoking a bit too much tbh ;)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on December 08, 2016, 03:37:03 AM
I've been thinking about the polytopes. Was Xenakis influenced by Scriabin? Prometheus is a sort of polytope I suppose, though clearly not site specific. He lets us know quite a bit about his ideas about music and mysticism, which may or may not resemble the ideas Scriabin took from theosophy.

In "Xenakis on Xenakis" we read (p 18)

"The power of music is such that it transports you from one state to another. Like alcohol. Like love. If I wanted to learn how to compose music, maybe it was to acquire this power. The power of Dionysus"


And on page 1 of Music and Achitecture he informs us that

"Art, and, above all, music, has a fundamental function, which is to catalyze the sublimation that it can bring about through all means of expression. It must aim [...] to draw towards a total exaltation in which the individual mingles, losing his consciousness in a truth immediate, rare, enormous, and perfect. If a work of art succeeds in this undertaking even for a single moment, it attains its goal."
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: milk on December 08, 2016, 06:13:55 AM
I've been thinking about the polytopes. Was Xenakis influenced by Scriabin? Prometheus is a sort of polytope I suppose, though clearly not site specific. He lets us know quite a bit about his ideas about music and mysticism, which may or may not resemble the ideas Scriabin took from theosophy.

In "Xenakis on Xenakis" we read (p 18)

"The power of music is such that it transports you from one state to another. Like alcohol. Like love. If I wanted to learn how to compose music, maybe it was to acquire this power. The power of Dionysus"


And on page 1 of Music and Achitecture he informs us that

"Art, and, above all, music, has a fundamental function, which is to catalyze the sublimation that it can bring about through all means of expression. It must aim [...] to draw towards a total exaltation in which the individual mingles, losing his consciousness in a truth immediate, rare, enormous, and perfect. If a work of art succeeds in this undertaking even for a single moment, it attains its goal."
inspiring
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on December 08, 2016, 08:38:00 AM
inspiring

I expect that some Xenakis fans may not be so pleased to learn about his spiritual agenda. Xenakis seems to have seen himself as a shaman, a guru with magic powers.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: milk on December 10, 2016, 01:33:44 AM
I expect that some Xenakis fans may not be so pleased to learn about his spiritual agenda. Xenakis seems to have seen himself as a shaman, a guru with magic powers.
I like that part. Maybe I think composers should feel that way.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on December 10, 2016, 02:18:58 AM
lol  :laugh:
He was an atheist though


I've read he was, in some sense. Nevertheless his language in the 1970s is  replete with ideas which are "spiritual." Look at this:

Quote from: Iannis Xenakis in  "Xenakis on Xenakis"  page 32, a paper or La Legènde d'Eer
Myself, I wanted to deal with the abysses that surround us and among which we live. The most formidable are those of our destiny, of life or of death, visible and invisible universes. The signs that convey these abysses to us are also made of the lights and sounds that provoke the two principal senses that we possess. That is why the Diatope would like to be a place for the condensation of those signs from the many worlds. Rational knowledge coalesces with intuitive knowledge, or revelation. It is impossible to dissociate one from the other. These abysses are unknowable, that is to say, knowledge of them is an eternal and desperate flight, composed of milestones-hypotheses across the epochs

This sort of thing may have been sincere, it may have been public relations, it was the time of hippies, the age of Aquarius, all of that. Anyway, what I really want to say is that the communist-materialist understanding of Xenakis  prima facie doesn't fit what we know about him in the 1970s, the period of the site specific multi-media spectacles.

Have you heard of the "world polytope?"
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Klaze on December 17, 2016, 10:34:07 AM
Recently acquired my first Xenakis; 2 of the orchestral works volumes on Timpani, and the Warner (Erato) 2CD, and enjoying it very much.

So what's the best strategy for getting the (core) percussion works on disc, price/quality/availability considered?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 18, 2016, 07:07:39 AM
Recently acquired my first Xenakis; 2 of the orchestral works volumes on Timpani, and the Warner (Erato) 2CD, and enjoying it very much.

So what's the best strategy for getting the (core) percussion works on disc, price/quality/availability considered?

hmmm... that's a tough one. The Schick/Mode 3CD set is very good, but 'Rebonds' and 'Psappha' are just not up to the competition there.

1) REBONDS = Markus Leoson on Caprice- I'm sorry, but there is NO OTHER, - and you can't make me budge on that!!
                         Sadlo, on Koch, is ok (quite slow, as are most of the competition), but has a more detailed recording than
                         most.

2) PSAPPHA = GertM. on BIS or Markus Hauke. They are the only two who get it right (under 11 minutes). Adain, Sadlo
                        is quite slow, but the Teldec recording is delicious.

I suppose you can try Pablo Caniero(?)...

3) PLEIADES = I swear by the Strassburg on DENON. The HarmoniaMundi disc sounds like it was recorded in a closet.
                         The BIS is also excellent. The Mode is also good, as is the Erato. Just stay away from the HarmoniaMundi.

4) PERSEPHASSA = Either the original, or the Mode...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: GioCar on December 18, 2016, 01:10:39 PM
3) PLEIADES = I swear by the Strassburg on DENON. The HarmoniaMundi disc sounds like it was recorded in a closet.
                         The BIS is also excellent. The Mode is also good, as is the Erato. Just stay away from the HarmoniaMundi.

Any opinion on this recent LINN?

(http://www.hbdirect.com/coverm/thumbnails/691062049528.jpg)(http://www.hbdirect.com/coverm/thumbnails/691062049528.pt01.jpg)

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen OKHO-OFF
Post by: snyprrr on December 18, 2016, 08:36:47 PM

(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTMn_53TxGLGZBP504ujRRF_q8_0supElNv0DFB6JvUVMeZHpf8VdBqYkDITA)

Nope. Sorry. Not for noobs. He's gonna have to cut his teeth (wallet) on the "originals". The Mode set is strictly for fanboiz- it was the last thing I got, I didn't even want it, but, I figured "the sooound"... well, it's some some of the best, and worst, interpretations I've heard.

Again, 'Rebonds' and 'Psappha' are both terminally slowww, just compare either to, respectively, Leoson or Mortenson. I IMPLORE THEE ohe goode sire!! I must needs satisfaction!!

And, he MUST have the Strassburg/DENON 'Pleiades'.

There are RULES here!!! No Mode Box before you eat your veggies- Leoson, Mortenson, DENON.


We can have an 'Okho'-Off if you want!! ;) I am fully prepared. $:) :P 8) :laugh:
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Klaze on December 19, 2016, 09:53:02 AM
Thanks snyprrr and alien.

If it's allowed I gotta say the Carneiro looks quite appealing since then I don't have to buy 2 separate discs for Rebonds and Psappha with a lot of filler by other composers. Though it has a short running time...

Or is that unacceptable?  ;D

I also see a Saphir disc with Psappha and Persephassa (a certain Ciampolini on percussion), any good?  Getting Persephassa otherwise seems tricky without going for the Mode 3CD?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen OKHO-OFF
Post by: JCBuckley on December 19, 2016, 10:28:44 AM
I think the Schick performance of Rebonds is terrific, as is the Mode set as a whole. Emphatically not 'strictly for fanboiz'. And 'terminally slowww'?? - the timing is around 30 seconds slower than Leoson, that's all. And around three minutes quicker than some others.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 19, 2016, 12:04:07 PM
Thanks snyprrr and alien.

If it's allowed I gotta say the Carneiro looks quite appealing since then I don't have to buy 2 separate discs for Rebonds and Psappha with a lot of filler by other composers. Though it has a short running time...

Or is that unacceptable?  ;D

I also see a Saphir disc with Psappha and Persephassa (a certain Ciampolini on percussion), any good?  Getting Persephassa otherwise seems tricky without going for the Mode 3CD?

Please just listen to Leoson (Rebonds) or Mortenson and Hauke (Psappha). Carniero should be "acceptable", though, I heave saying that.

I "think" that any recording of 'Persephassa' should be ok at this point. Most, if not all, of the new recordings use overdubbing, but that isn't a big deal. Same with 'Pleiades'- but NOT the HarmoniaMUndi.

Haven't seen the Campy----- yet.

I think the Schick performance of Rebonds is terrific, as is the Mode set as a whole. Emphatically not 'strictly for fanboiz'. And 'terminally slowww'?? - the timing is around 30 seconds slower than Leoson, that's all. And around three minutes quicker than some others.

Have you heard Schick's two previous recordings of 'Rebonds'? I will listen to the Mode again today, but, as I recall, I totally balked the first time I heard it. I do like his other two. 'Psappha', however, at 14mins., you muuust admit that it pales in comparison with Hauke's simply breathtaking 10:20. And, Hauke's "sounds" at the end are simply the best I've ever heard; Schick's instrument just sounds wimpy (the thing they say is that the European players prefer bigger instruments, the Americans, smaller- I have seen Schick's setup, and he does like to use small, dinky plates and such for this piece, making it more of a "suitcase" piece (same with his 'Rebonds').

Can I recruit no one to the Leoson side?????


And, I still want to have an OKHO-OFF!!!!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on December 23, 2016, 07:26:52 AM
^^ Well that's now over and I'm back to my usual fanboyisms.

I'm gonna do another marathon of every Xenakis work/piece that I have access to, sometime soon. I got absorbed right into the Xenakis world which occupies 90% of my brain last night, hearing my recently received Xenakis double CD.
I really got a kick out of ST/498, Polytope De Montreal and Nomos Gamma last night.

The 70s/80s works are definitely my favourite from his catalogue, for multiple reasons but those 50s and 60s works are quite something special. Early Xenakis was one of the first things I absolutely fell in love with in classical music, the really intense industrial style is like an aesthetic home to me. So much going on in those works  :o

Regarding earlier in the thread, the solo percussion works are my least listened to from his catalogue, lol
Though Persephassa (percussion ensemble) is a favourite and I love looking at the score.
Some of the rhythms in Pleiades really got to my head when I was first becoming a Xenakian but I don't often have the urge to put Rebounds on, you know  :laugh:

So, you got the RZ Editions 2CD... and what other one?? 'Nomos Gamma' and 'Terretekhtorh' stand alone... they are quite kewl... I do like that transition between this phase and the next one. I've noticed that 1972 is the year of transition, by 1973 we are fully on to the new phase (1973-1986? 88?).

Be nice if Warner Bros. released the Erato 'Cendrees', 'Nekuia', and 'Ais' (all LPs)........

Every Tuesday (New Release day) I check thee olde Xenakis Amazon for any news... NONE.... NEVER :'( :'( :'(


 :'(

 :'( :'(

 :'( :'( :'(
 :'( :'( :'(
 :'( :'( :'(

OH, BTW- I did just see a new piano disc, with IX and Boulez.... it's on the Amazon.... but, it has like a 10minute 'Herma', and yet another 9:30 'Evryali', which is one of the fastest- I have Philip Howard doing a super crackin' 'Evryali', and, is it Mark Richards or something? (one of the harpsichordists on the Mode percussion set) has an absolutely awesome one on YT. This new one, the samples sound very good... 10 minute 'Herma' sounds interesting...

Did you get the CD with the "mechanical" reproductions of the piano and harpsichord works, on computer, so they can be played as they were meant? NEOS or AEON


How bout that 'Paille in the Wind', such a great 3mins.





OOOOHHHH, what really irks me is that Vandenburg disc 'Xenakis in New York', absolutely the worst recording I've every heard, and the only place one can get 'Kai' and 'Kullienn'. ahhhh,.....

Seriously folks, it shouldn't be that hard to get that Mode Cycle crankin again, should it. ALIEN- why don't you call Brian at Mode and have a chat?



Now look, you've got me ranting!!! ;)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on December 23, 2016, 01:31:40 PM
Be nice if Warner Bros. released the Erato 'Cendrees', 'Nekuia', and 'Ais' (all LPs)........


This is on YouTube


How bout that 'Paille in the Wind', such a great 3mins.






6 minutes, but yes. Great. Why the strange title? Paille is French for straw.

My big big Xenakis revelation recently was Roger Woodward's Kraanerg. I don't care how many other performances you've heard, this is the one you need.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen CRANK IT UP, DUUUDE
Post by: snyprrr on December 24, 2016, 06:32:39 AM

My big big Xenakis revelation recently was Roger Woodward's Kraanerg. I don't care how many other performances you've heard, this is the one you need.

Please explain. I've had it forever and find the recording just a tad opaque, no? I mean, I guess it's ok when you turn it up REAL LOUD- it's one of "those" types of recordings- but, can you point to anything in particular? And... it sure is hard to analyze one 70min. Track, ugh...

But, please, what is it? (I think you DID crack 'er up, lol!!)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen CRANK IT UP, DUUUDE
Post by: Mandryka on December 24, 2016, 06:55:48 AM
Please explain. I've had it forever and find the recording just a tad opaque, no? I mean, I guess it's ok when you turn it up REAL LOUD- it's one of "those" types of recordings- but, can you point to anything in particular? And... it sure is hard to analyze one 70min. Track, ugh...

But, please, what is it? (I think you DID crack 'er up, lol!!)

I think the sound is absolutely beautiful. The soft melting haziness creates a haunting and almost introspective ambiance which reveals deeper qualities in the music, and fits Xenakis's intentions.  We all know (now that I've dig up the quotes)  that Xenakis had a "spiritual" agenda (see my posts above), and hence wasn't really about creating sonic thrills.

By comparison the other recordings (DJ Spooky for example) sound brash and jejune, as if the music is really about offering the listener a sonic thrill. Well it's not.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen CRANK IT UP, DUUUDE
Post by: snyprrr on December 24, 2016, 06:58:53 PM
I think the sound is absolutely beautiful. The soft melting haziness creates a haunting and almost introspective ambiance which reveals deeper qualities in the music, and fits Xenakis's intentions.  We all know (now that I've dig up the quotes)  that Xenakis had a "spiritual" agenda (see my posts above), and hence wasn't really about creating sonic thrills.

By comparison the other recordings (DJ Spooky for example) sound brash and jejune, as if the music is really about offering the listener a sonic thrill. Well it's not.

But, then, are you playing very loud, which I found did bring out qualities in the recording, or are you listening at the lower-normal volume. I maintain the recording needs to be listened to at full volume, because of the nature of the mic placement, blah blah,...

I can see if you like the "mixing" how this one does have a different sonic architecture than, say, the Mode version, which is nicely crisp and delineated (do you have that one?). I'll give it a spin.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen CRANK IT UP, DUUUDE
Post by: Mandryka on December 24, 2016, 11:55:41 PM
But, then, are you playing very loud, which I found did bring out qualities in the recording, or are you listening at the lower-normal volume. I maintain the recording needs to be listened to at full volume, because of the nature of the mic placement, blah blah,...



I honestly don't think that it makes much difference. But I'm deaf.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen HEY FANBOY!!!!!!
Post by: snyprrr on December 29, 2016, 09:51:39 AM
The other CD was Modes "Music For Strings", but I've heard all those pieces on other recordings.

With the RZ, it was amazing to finally hear Nomos Gamma (which is a kickass piece) which I've read about in several Xenakis books. I've got everything else on that double CD elsewhere (like ST48 and Achorripsis on timpani etc.), but the recording is crisp  :-*

Do you mean this vinyl transferred to CD?
(https://img.discogs.com/CpNFFxKEd64mnvSAObyl1El3SwU=/fit-in/562x567/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-1882430-1333107786.gif.jpg)
I have the vinyl, classic recording. There are better recordings of Ais, but it's worth it for Nekuia.

I've heard some of the computerized interpretations on YouTube, they're rendered well. Actually, unless you've got a very specific kind of ear, you wouldn't even be able to tell  ;)

Paille in the Wind is a beautiful little piece, I've got the score too (lol, only two pages  :laugh: )

Yes, I've come across this before but I don't have it:

(https://img.discogs.com/mmRltsnY5WJVF6DKfWAirEgmNw8=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-7573067-1450782731-6381.jpeg.jpg)

I don't own it, so I'll take your warning  ???


lol

I'm going to write you a piece, it's called:

PHANBOI


lol- what's the instrumentation???? wood blocks and triangle?????
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on January 25, 2017, 05:23:37 AM
Never heard of this Xenakis dude before but he sounds good  8)

Due to space, I might have to start including other Composers in my "Xenakis Box of CDs". Here's my candidates so far:

Igor

Varese

Malec

(Scelsi) not really, but it's just one Box...

Dusapin

Erb (lots of brass, EV inspired)

Spectral stuff... again, now we're stretching it...


anyone else?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: nathanb on January 25, 2017, 03:13:50 PM
Josh, do you own any of the DVD releases from Mode? One of my Christmas presents was the one with Linaia-Agon.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on January 25, 2017, 03:16:41 PM
Maybe or you could just buy more Xenakis?  ;)

Like WHAT??

Seriously... I'm not gonna get the Timpani Piano Music... not gonna get any piano or percussion one-offs... nothing new of note anyhow... the only thing even remotely interesting would be the computer generated piano/harpsichord on NEOS, but my money just doesn't care to be spent in that direction...

nope... I'm just going to say I have ALL Xenakis and there is no Xenakis I have not...

At some point, I got rid of that Neuma disc which has that IX tape piece... oo, can't remember... late '70s, real short, sounds like static scrunch,... named after a space thingy... Alpha??...

anyhow, I just can't stand the piece... no, I'm not gonna do it (GHW Bush)...


I mean, you got something interesting I've never heard of?....



NO!!

Because there isn't anything... I'm sad about that stalled Mode "Complete" Cycle... was so looking for 'String Solos Duos and Trio' or something...

 :'( :'( :'(
 :'( :'( :'(
 :'( :'( :'(

there, there






Weren't you in the middle of listening in chronological?...or was thsat jessup?


Snyprrr, what's your favorite of his chamber works? (not that I haven't already heard them all  :laugh:  )

It might make an interesting thread in itself too?  ;)

Smaller than 13? (eliminates Jalons, Thalleinn, etc...)

'Akea' or 'Tetora' or 'Tetras'


though, I consider the whole unbroken string of chamber works 1975-1986 to be one thing...

Josh, do you own any of the DVD releases from Mode? One of my Christmas presents was the one with Linaia-Agon.

how is that? details pleeease
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on January 25, 2017, 04:32:15 PM
Yeah, I getcha Snyprrr pal. I also have (one way or another) almost all Xenakis I can get  8)


Perhaps some Manoury, (James) Harley and some (Ben) Johnston? (to name some I do see mentioned a lot)

Any Varese or Scelsi is good and if you feel a home-run on Sirius, go for some good 'ole Karlheinz (even though he's completely different from Iannis)

Yea,... either way, the "Xenakis Club" of Composers IS pretty small...


I'm not to fond of the Arditti disc by the "Spanish Xenakis" F.Guerrero,... it's just pretty aggressive and grainy grinding without the fun aspect of IX... or the Xenakisms I hear in other Spanish interpreters, such as Rueda or Posadas (Both string quartets on KAIROS)...

IX has his grating stuff too... lol...

When I lived near the conservatory, I snuck into their library one day and lo and behold, they had a bunch of IX I'd never heard... LPs, Cendrees....and such... including the disc with BOHOR...

Well, I was excited by what I had heard so far, and then 'Bohor' comes on, and, lol, you could have taped my reaction over the next 15mins.!!! At some point I was like, I've HAD it!! (I was on headphones in the library),... and then it kept on going and going and going...

oy vey!!


And I just can't staaaaaaaaand the loopy later electronic works- S.706, GENDY3, Taurphifonie,- I mean, just to listen to...

oh lol- and, do you have POUR LE PAX ??  I knew I was gonna hate it, and still got it...that's IX dedication thar ;)


But, we all know that many of IX's electronic works are ... ahhh..... difficult...



The one I can have the most fun with is the VOYAGE TO ANDROMEDA thingy...



BUUUUT-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


'Occident-Orient' and 'Concret PH' are so evocative, especially the former. And 'Persepolis' is one of a kind (unless you know of anything as long and meditative)... 'Cluny' is groovy...


'The Legend of Eer' .... I dunno... I'd rather make a sepa
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen LE LEGENDE D'EER
Post by: snyprrr on January 25, 2017, 04:37:03 PM
Le Legende d'Eer (1977)

I prefer the circular programme of 'Persepolis' over the linear one presented here,... and, it's too short...


I want to like 'Eer'... I just have no particular feelings about it... I've bought it twice, the second time out of a CDCDCD outbreak of 'Completist's Mania'...


ehhhhhhhhhhhhhh...........

and you?













































































































Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: nathanb on January 25, 2017, 05:17:38 PM
Not yet, but I haven't been much of a collector of classical DVDs in the past. Is it any good?  :)

Honestly, I usually only collect DVDs when I can't obtain the same music in pure audio (Some examples in my library: Chin's Alice In Wonderland, Birtwistle's The Minotaur, Fuentes' Grace Note, etc...). I even rip the audio right off the DVD the day I open it. That said, both video and audio are pretty neat :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on January 26, 2017, 03:50:02 PM
I haven't heard Francisco Guerrero Marín before but checking him out now, you're right  ???

Xenakis is definitely 50% fun and 50% emotionally compelling (depending on the mood of the piece)

Bohor's amazing, one of his best electronic works (alongside Persepolis, Orient-occident and la legende d'eer).


I'm surprised you share the same opinion about S.709, Gendy3 and Mycenae Alpha, I simply do not like those three pieces at all. After he had already created masterpieces like Orient-occident and Bohor, I don't understand why he would be inclined to think that making those pieces where a good idea  :laugh: (besides the whole UPIC thing), they're my least favorite of his entire output. And I say that as a passionate Xenakis-fanboy.


With La Legende D'eer, I don't like the opening but around 5/6 minutes when the pitch-range starts opening it gets better and better for me, after a while it really creates a mesmerizing world for me and then turns into one of my favorite electronic works  ;)

But I tend to have a strong dislike of super-high frequencies, regardless of who or what made it.

OK OK, 'Bohor' is... "amazing", lol,... yes to everything else and mostly your very last sentence, yesyesyes

I think the UPIC things... the "colors" of those pieces are the colors of the most ultra modern sounding music I think IX could imagine- I wonder what they would sound like in a scifi or horror? They're like what robots would like, and so, I treat them all like 1977/BBC1984... but I just can't "enjoy" them ..yea,... very BladeRunner oppressive,-

I never liked the oppressive musics, like the 'Hard Minimalism' of the Dutch, or the "look how annoying I can be" solo balloon or whatever (solo balloon is what that IX sounds like, haha),... some things are actually dated, huh!!



anyhow...


Really would like to hear a whole recital of IX Brass Works, or works for trumpet...

oh, this thread,... it just makes me whine :'( for new releases of substance


(I think I'm far away from any Xenakisathon here though)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on January 29, 2017, 08:25:03 AM
Okho beats Rebounds, no competition there. Rebounds does have a cool groove around 1/2 minutes in but not half as interesting.

Why is it that all the percussionists flock to Xenakis? Rhythm is a highly important part of what Xenakis' music is but Rebounds and Psappha are kinda boring compared to the rest of his work, of which also includes percussion instruments with solo-spots? Is it just me???  ???

'Bohor'... yeeea,... haven't listened to it in a long time... but, I mean, it's pretty, uh, "monothematic"... maybe it's the bells, it's just to "hard" for my ears?...

I like any one of those percussion pieces if they're played by the right person. Again, my choices are: Rebonds/Leoson (Caprice) and Psappha/Mortenson(BIS) or Hauke (NCA). These are the only ones I really recommend anymore, though I do like Sadlo's take on both even though they're both quite slow. The performer's choice of instruments is sometimes the culprit, resulting in a dinky sounding finale in both pieces.

 'Okho' I'm still waiting to hear the perfect rendition- the one by the Demoe on Stradivarius is the only one where the seating seems to be far enough away from each other to really emphasize the separation...

I DID propose an OKHO-OFF... what say?... there's about eight versions at the moment...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: nathanb on January 31, 2017, 09:18:52 AM
I wish we had a chatbox. I'm too busy/lazy to keep up with anything but then I finally take a day off for my own damn health and I wanna talk avant-garde with some peeps.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 01, 2017, 11:50:29 AM
I wish we had a chatbox. I'm too busy/lazy to keep up with anything but then I finally take a day off for my own damn health and I wanna talk avant-garde with some peeps.

dude, we're ALL trying to get a date, LOL!! :laugh: Even Hitler had a girlfriend...

we have bloops and bleeps :(

wtf??



I took the 'Turangalila' to work today...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 01, 2017, 11:59:13 AM
I took the 'Turangalila' to work today...

Do not fear the ecstasy.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: nathanb on February 01, 2017, 07:39:57 PM
dude, we're ALL trying to get a date, LOL!! :laugh: Even Hitler had a girlfriend...

we have bloops and bleeps :(

wtf??



I took the 'Turangalila' to work today...

are you on drugs right now too
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 02, 2017, 07:30:13 AM
are you on drugs right now too

Love Is the Drug ;)


wait... what?... a Roxy Music ref in a Xenakis Thread?????

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Now I have surely sullied the Thread beyond repair :o :(

I wish we had a chatbox. I'm too busy/lazy to keep up with anything but then I finally take a day off for my own damn health and I wanna talk avant-garde with some peeps.

I checked Xenakis New Releases for you :( :'(
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on February 03, 2017, 05:28:09 PM
Which Xenakis string quartet should I introduce to my friends first? I'm thinking Tetora, but what do you think?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on February 03, 2017, 08:02:30 PM
What are they already into?

If they're into hypo-serialism then put ST4 on, if they want something more rhythmically energetic and dynamic put Tetras on, if they want something incredibly beautiful and transcendent then you've got Tetora or Ergma  ;)

Yeah I am thinking Tetora because it is the one I like the most out of them for its sense of spacious beauty, and generally I think that is something they quite like as well.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen KEKROPS
Post by: snyprrr on February 09, 2017, 04:18:46 PM
I wish we had a chatbox. I'm too busy/lazy to keep up with anything but then I finally take a day off for my own damn health and I wanna talk avant-garde with some peeps.

Tracees

Actually, I like 'Kekrops' better only because it's longer. That thing treads like a giant dinosaur predator! I remember there were no IX Orchestral Works coming out for a long time after 'DOX-ORKH' on BIS, which I haaated at the time, since, it really did seem to herald a step back for IX. I wanted more of what had just happened in the 80s, and now this monolithic style was going on... whaaa???

So then, that DG 'Wein Modern 2' came out, with 'Kekrops', and I hastened to put it on, fingers shaking, disc flying... there... push play,... click, click... and then...

BRRRRAAAAAAAANNNNNGGGGG      BRRRRRRRAAAAANNNNNNGGGGGGG BRRRRAANNNNGGGGGG


OH YESS!!!!

Then the 'Jaws' strings come in and I go crazy,... and then... and then... that piano.... ahhhhh.....

BadAss Musicke Mein Cherren

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 11, 2017, 09:02:03 AM

Do you own any Xenakis score Snyprrr?  :)

No, but I remember looking through a book once and seeing what I thought was the score for 'Mikka'. All I saw was pictures of curves, like the "curves" the violin has to go through (glisses). I dunno, is it a graphic score? Either way, very cool to look at, but it waaas a picture of him looking at these things, so it was a pic of a pic of a pic....

Did I see what I thought I saw????
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on February 14, 2017, 09:49:47 AM
incredibly beautiful and transcendent then you've got . . . Ergma  ;)

When I first saw that I thought you'd completely lost it, because neither beautiful nor transcendent were ideas I'd associate with Ergma. However I've begun to listen to the Danel Quartet playing it rather than Jack, and slowly I'm starting to see where you're coming from, even though I think you're overstating it. Thanks for posting this.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on February 15, 2017, 05:21:57 AM
(https://68.media.tumblr.com/a6b050f46c6b36fd26c6181d1b746e33/tumblr_ob2ttorf8M1spjzfzo1_500.gif)

Im so je;lly... how do IIII get gifs on here??? Maybe it's NOT a good idea?????LOL
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen ERGMA SCHMERGMA
Post by: snyprrr on February 21, 2017, 09:53:13 AM
When I first saw that I thought you'd completely lost it, because neither beautiful nor transcendent were ideas I'd associate with Ergma. However I've begun to listen to the Danel Quartet playing it rather than Jack, and slowly I'm starting to see where you're coming from, even though I think you're overstating it. Thanks for posting this.

Absolutely honest and I'm not overstating it. But I also don't think enough recordings of those two works are graceful enough in their articulations and dynamics. As an analogy, they should be treating them more like Feldman...than Bartok fff dynamic allegros  :laugh:

Ergma

Mondriaan SQ (Vanguard)
JACK SQ (Mode)
Danel SQ (Stradivarius)

Gotta say, I thought the Danel sounded like they were having the most difficulty with the piece. I don't know how Mandryka hears it, but I intonation "humanity" in practically every utterance- when they do play "together", one hears the "mistakes" even more. I'd almost like to hear a Romantic treatment with full vibratos, lol!!

The Mondriaan have the debut, I think it's from 1996. Their's is as raw and wooly as the Danel, but I think they hit the diamonds a little better. I tend to prefer this one over JACK, but, the two sound quite different in terms of trimming.

The JACK have the smoothest rendition, along with having a silky recording, which the other two don't. I always thought the presentation hear took away from the violence, not that the JACK play reticently.

Still, yes, they all show signs of humanity when this piece in particular demands absolute mechanism. I'd rather hear it played by robots for now until the species develops beyond daily neurosis.- meaning, how can PEOPLE, who sleep, eat, and shit, play music that demands to be absolutely human-free?

Hey, they made a computer-rendition CD of the keyboard works...


Why don't one of youse guys punch 'Ergma' into your Sibelius and lets see what it sounds like with NO vibrato!!
Title: there there!!
Post by: snyprrr on February 22, 2017, 06:33:01 AM
Aside from everything else which I agree, yes I might put Ergma into my computer one of these days....when I'm not busy  ;)

I still don't think the two latter quartets have been fully interpreted accurately yet. They are both entirely beautiful and have that flow of spiritual life etc. like Feldman, Scelsi, Webern and Takemitsu too!

The problem is, when unacquainted people think Xenakis and they think it is all FFF Allegro wall of dissonance, chaos and gut-wrenching rhythms but infact,  he's very diverse and his works should be performed as such. His heavier and more colossal works should be fully engaging and overwhelming in their recordings, but that is one side of him.

ST4 - Should be an aggressive (but ever changing in timbre) cloud which changes in scope and emotional dynamic quite a bit.

Tetras - Let the FFF's be striking but let the clusters ring, etc.

Tetora - Let it feel and express a similar angelic and otherworldly vibe of Feldman, Messiaen, Scelsi, Takemitsu. The most contrapuntal parts should be dynamic-engaging but otherwise

Ergma - Similar in many ways to Tetora but with more fixation on the floating feeling he's conveying (much like Tetora)


That's as simple that I can get  :laugh:

So what ARE 'Ergma''s dynamics? I mean, yea, I'd like to hear it done with more finesse. I think both recordings of 'Tetora', especially the JACK, revel in an "endless sand dune" sound, very smooth. No one has played 'Ergma' slow enough to really let a more relaxed feeling to emerge. They're all around the same duration- whether right or wrong, many having streeeeetched some of his pieces. You can get a 'Psappha' at 10mins., and one at 16mins.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Klaze on February 22, 2017, 11:10:36 AM
Ok, here's something that pisses me off every once in a while:

WHY is Metastasis quoted all the time as such a "notable" Xenakis piece (and 20th century piece)?????   Why?? It's a good piece yes and it was innovative at the time (hence Varese's comment on it), that being said it doesn't come close, not even by a lightyear to the real highlights of his output and it absolutely does NOT represent him as a composer at all. It's lumped in with all those "textural" pieces like Ligeti's Atmospheres and Penderecki's Threnody for some bizarre reason. What the fuck???  :-[  :'(


Sorry for the ramble but it puzzles me  :laugh:

Thanks for this string of posts, I only recently started exploring Xenakis but I kept wondering why people (liner notes writers mostly) kept making such a big deal about this piece, because I view it in a similar light as you do.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on March 03, 2017, 03:18:20 PM
I also have to get off my chest how frustrating it is that Xenakis is seen as the "architectural composer".

Fine, he explored shapes and spaces in his early works, which where radical: yes

But those are only 20 works, out of his 160 (approx) piece catalogue.

Most of his music is not "textural", which is a vague term in itself.
His mature style, which goes from around 1964 to Omega, are still firmly routed in tradition. That being Greek culture/mythology, Bartok, Stravinsky, Varese, Messiaen, Bach counterpoint, among others.

I can't be the only one.....  :-[

or am I just extremely observant?  :laugh:

Xenakis was like the Trump of music.











Just seeing if you recovered from that, lol! ;) I mean, eeeveryone hated on him, so, really, when it comes to IX, I simply CAN'T hear a word the naysayers say. Couldn't care less what KHS, Boulez, Nono, or anyone said, or what not. I think IX is the one who's mostly right, so, they can just go bla bla...nanny nanny boo boo is what I have to say to the critics!! ;)

By the way- 'Metastaseis' IS a wild structure. I mean, even so, the opening itself is unheralded. I know, I started taking it for granted, but that Tamayo rendition was the greatest thing I'd heard since sliced cheese gravy!! Let them have 'Metastaseis'


I'm too busy hearing IX and Feldman in Igor right now... got myself into an Igorabora...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on March 06, 2017, 12:42:20 PM
I was in the steam room of this tropical resort, then this security woman walked in and said:

"May I have your attention please? Will the real Iannis please stand up?" Then I thought to myself, we're going to have a problem here.

I was only sketching some sieve based patterns that would evolve into this really contrapuntal part followed by a big hetrophony part, then I thought I had become Iannis. There was this other dude that thought he was too, then I was all confused. But then this other guy was like "I'm Metastasis" and we all like cracked up and all. Then the percussion thing and we where all Okhoing off at this security woman, but I am the real Iannis, I have the credentials to prove it.

Then we pulled out this:

(http://www.architecturalpapers.ch/images/articles/87_2_w1000h600.jpg)

And they where like: "Holy shit, what is that dog?" and then M̶o̶z̶a̶r̶t̶  the guy with the curly wig told me it wasn't music, but all the other boyz had enough of that and we put him in the trash can and threw it on the roof. Then this monotone american dude was just saying to me repeatedly for about 20 minutes "The roof the roof the roof is on fire!!!!" and I was like "Fuck this shit, I'll make MY OWN piano concertos.

But I forgot what happened after that

You know those double-bass "yearnings" at the beginning of SEA-CHANGE come straight from 'Requiem Canticles''s introduction? Also somewhere else in earlier Igor (either Firebird or Chant du Ross.)...

So much Igor in IX...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on March 13, 2017, 07:01:05 PM
Snyprrr, when was the last time you listened to Anastenaria?  ;D

A while... I'll have to revisit since I've been on this Stravinsky kick. Bornstein's 'Metastaseis' is pretty good, too, which is a plus (I still hold to the Tamayo as a revelation). Still hearing lots is IS in IX.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: nathanb on March 16, 2017, 09:41:51 AM
Gahhhh Xenakis
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on March 19, 2017, 09:53:04 PM
Is this any good?

(http://i.imgur.com/lCKLenW.jpg)

Personally, I prefer either a painting or actual photograph of the composer than a building.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on March 19, 2017, 09:58:20 PM
Okay, any of these two pictures would look good against a black background IMHO:

[Click to enlarge]
(http://www.peoples.ru/art/music/composer/iannis_xenakis/xenakis_2.jpg)

[Click to enlarge]
(http://www.marcodelogu.com/art/20%20compositori/1pagina/Iannis%20Xenakis.jpg)

The font I would use would be something mechanical looking. Now, this would be a good shirt design IMHO. :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on March 19, 2017, 10:00:53 PM
Snyprrr can we have an IX party? I'll bring the drinks, invite all the Greek woman you like and we do a marathon?[/color]

It's bedtime Cornelius ;) :P...zzz...zzz...zzz... (signal rhythms)...zzz...zzz...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on March 24, 2017, 06:01:36 AM
Interesting what you where saying a while ago Snyprrr about Feldman.

IX and Feldman seem to be a perfect antithesis of each other, making them perfect companions.
Feldman is the abstract ticking of the clock of time, to the man on the street, city and air. Everything happens in a way that is disassociated from this city dweller. Feldman is like an observer (not unlike Cage), and the world is experienced through that personal perspective.
Xenakis, on the other hand is the primal forces of nature that on any day could destroy that figurative city. He is also at the the psychological base of human and animal's being. He is an assimilation of these forces and remains rooted in the pure essence of human being and emotion.


Actually that might make a fascinating thread, "Allegories for composers' philosophies"?  :)

what did you think the first time you heard that actual MELODY in the middle of 'Hiketides'?? That was an eye opener
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on March 26, 2017, 08:36:38 AM
Even though it's far from his greatest masterpieces (of which there are a lot), Pithoprakta is an incredible force of nature!

..............Also, those heavy Webernisms in Archorripsis  :laugh:

The former is one of the strangest sounding pieces of all time, highly underrated. The latter- I've gotten used to the sound of the wailing oboe in the original recording and have a hard time with the new one; the old one just has this feeling of "ennui"- the music breaking of its own sadness, a very "out there" carnival carousel in a deserted landscape of gray clouds.



SO- I think IX's last work proper would have ended up sounding like the Ebony Concerto. huh 8)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on March 31, 2017, 08:06:54 PM
Once I get a grip on my academic essay writing, I will be considering starting a blog to discuss the complete works of IX chronologically. It may be somewhat like that Stockhausen in space blog from that other resident of GMG (I forget his name), but in my terms. Whatcha thoughts?  ;)

If you do an analysis on Jonchaies, I’ll be reading it.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 02, 2017, 05:41:52 PM
Don't worry Snyprrr, I will share some pics  ;)

"pics or it didn't happen"lol :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: you read my mind


I was at one of those "university libraries" and happened upon the IX books, and there were pics of... something concerning the score of 'Mikka', and it was like Chinese Calligraphy... like, each "duck call" of the violin was shown in graphic detail, with a line towards the top or bottom indicating the "host note"... wah wah waaah wah wah waah, like a series of graphic portrayals of the music... I thought this was the "graphic score", but I don't think so...

anyhow...


I'm having my Stravinsky Epiphany, and just saw Malec and Xenakis and Varese... all standing on a mountain... lol...


I'm glad I'll have IX to listen to after StravinskyMania subsides, if it does... I guess I'm pretending that IS has IX "in him" (except for the computer math), prehistoric IX, like I'm an archaeologist :laugh:
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on April 10, 2017, 10:26:06 PM
Interesting note by James Harley here

https://www.fields.utoronto.ca/programs/scientific/12-13/xenakis/xenakis.html

(I came across it while thinking about Ergma)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 11, 2017, 12:11:56 PM
sss...sss.sss..sss......Snyprr did I scare you off???  :-\ :-\ :-[ :-[ ??? ??? :'( :'( :'(

No... sorry... wow, a week later :-[ haha

Yea, those are just bubbling! 'Antikhthon', you say? Verrry impressive... 'Antikhthon' sounds (like 'Ata') like his most Stravinskian works, no?

I can see now how I will transfer IgorMania to Xenakis... start with the works of the 60s when IS stopped composing, up to the 1972-3 break.

I'm now struggling in the final throes of IgorMania, mostly shocked that I have run out of actual works!! It's almost time tio move forward...

(so, have you listened to 'Antikhthon' and compared with your pics?... must be exciting ;))
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 12, 2017, 06:23:53 AM
The day I finally get my hands on that Lichens score, there will be so much saliva, I tells you! "I can feel it coming in the air tonight...oh lord. I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh lord!"   ;)  ;D ;D ;D

lol, have you looked into... women? :laugh: No, seriously, I get the drool factor, haha!!

I still think 'Antikhthon' has a bit of the ole IS because of the regimented quality, the ordered quality here- seems to be his most ordered piece? along with 'Ata'?... yea, I'm ready to jump the Igor ship soon...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on April 19, 2017, 05:39:16 AM
Well regarding Antikhthon, I'd say that most post-1964 works are highly organised in a linear fashion (in the block form Stravinsky made famous).
Antikhthon is a very dramatic piece, so surprise it was originally written for a ballet. It really makes incredible use of the vast number of musicians it utilities and has many alluring sororities (and unusual timbral combinations aka like Lichens). I haven't STUDIED it, despite looking at it last week but it is among his greatest orchestral works. I always get a kick out of hearing it, LOVE it!


Now Lichens, studying the (unavailable) score for that WITH a woman would be the greatest experience a man can have  ;)

I want that score so bad!!!!!!!  >:( >:( >:(

awright... I'm taking 'Antikhthon' with me today! ;) will report
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on April 19, 2017, 08:26:46 AM
Antikhthon . . .  LOVE it!




I agree with you about this, I hadn't heard it before and I like it a lot.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on April 19, 2017, 08:47:56 AM
Today I listened to two versions of Charisma, a sort of tombeau that Xenakis wrote after the death a friend.  I was very very impressed by the one with Siefried Palm and Hans Deinzer, which seems as moving as any baroque tombeau.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on April 19, 2017, 09:34:40 PM
Does anyone have a recording of Cendrées they can upload for me?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on April 19, 2017, 09:35:48 PM
Yes, Charisma is dashing but it's soooo short   :-[  Love that little miniature, makes me yearn for a Xenakis solo clarinet piece (that we didn't get)  :(

When you listen to a lot of 17th century keyboard music, Charisma sounds just long enough, it's all a matter of expectations as suppose.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on April 19, 2017, 10:21:45 PM
There's two recordings on Youtube??




There's also this I just found, taken from an LP I think, I can't see the details.

https://archive.org/details/agp99
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on April 20, 2017, 07:29:08 AM
Ooh! I'll check it out!


The recording is from Konstantin Simonovich directing L'ensemble Instrumental de la musique contemporaine de Paris. I think it is exceptional.

The music is unbelievably expressive and affecting.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen THE THREE
Post by: snyprrr on April 20, 2017, 05:03:44 PM
Ooh! I'll check it out!

I love Cendrees, there are (unsuprisingly) some real "wow!!" moments in that work.

He always had such a distinct way of writing for choir, I can't put it to words.  :D

Wait... Whaaat?

Of course there's only "one" 'Cendrees', the old Erato LP that is the viddie you're watching... I thought you'd heard it already? It's the only recording.

I thought the flute solo should become the "Xenakis flute piece", but no one ever did that...

The recording is from Konstantin Simonovich directing L'ensemble Instrumental de la musique contemporaine de Paris. I think it is exceptional.

The music is unbelievably expressive and affecting.

Next is 'Nekuia', and then 'Anemoessa',... those are the '3 Works for Chorus and Orchestra', which would have been the grail for Tamayo to have recorded... ahhh well...


'Cendrees' is THE first work of the 'New Xenakis', the Mature Xenakis, the Xenakis from 1973-1986/88. This is THE work that has ALL that yummy cool stuff, and it's soooo Greek and Ancient sounding and just... aaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

But, 'Nekuia' is also @26 mins., and that is one heavy mo-fo there, very almosthypnotic, oriental, Sacre like in mystrery...

'Anemoessa' ('Like the Wind'?) is a windy affair, cool as fuuuuuuuuu



Yea, those are 'The Three'


THE THREE
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen THE THREE
Post by: snyprrr on April 20, 2017, 05:18:23 PM
Yes, I didn't realize there was only one recording (which of course, I've got). But I did figure it out when they sounded EXACTLY the same, to what I've got  :laugh: :laugh:

the big Xenakis boner fade :laugh:... yea, I've had that happen a few times :laugh:

You've heard the 'Xenakis in New York' CD? WOW- the actual worst recording in the history of music, but absolutely essential for the works contained. Oh how I wish 'Kai' and 'Kulieen'(?) had Boulez recordings.

still haven't made it out of my Igor/Craft brambles... coming soon...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen THE THREE
Post by: snyprrr on April 22, 2017, 05:34:25 AM
Yes I've come across that CD once, it was one of the strangest moments in my life. Just look at the cover alone, lol:

(https://img.discogs.com/-EM3qdWp9O6-TcepSIlMy40U0H8=/fit-in/600x609/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-7573067-1450782731-6381.jpeg.jpg)


 ??? ??? :-[ :-[ :blank: :blank: I repeat,  ??? ??? ??? ???



Btw, I lovey love the middle part of Cendrees with the flute solo that transitions into a Phlegra-esque wind section  ;D ;D


OH, THAT COVER :o ??? :o ???

he looks like... silly... Bornstein probably put him up to it.- standing in that window... oy vey!!


committed to 'Antikhthon' day... somehow... some... how....
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen ANTIKHTHON
Post by: snyprrr on April 22, 2017, 08:51:11 AM
Antikhthon

Yea, it's loud as fuuuu...

I've got a slight temple throb this morning, so... I was able to handle it... you really have to pay attention, some things just come and go, like those gyroscopic sounding up and down glisses in the strings- so I could "hear" the ballet action there...
it's quite the regimented piece, though... I've always maintained it's his simplest... well, don't want to say that,... but, along with 'Akrata', it's almost spare... but not...

I dunno, I find it unique in a way for him... this was the last work before he "matured" with 'Cendrees' and 'Evryali', into the 70s... 'Antikhthon' in my mind is the very last of the 60s works.- as evidenced by being on the Howarth album...


I hear the Sravinskian organizational principle at work, tho...


oh, it was just too loud for me today :(.. yea, I'm bein a puss :laugh:
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen THE stravinsky influence
Post by: snyprrr on May 09, 2017, 12:11:13 PM
Yes, I didn't realize there was only one recording (which of course, I've got). But I did figure it out when they sounded EXACTLY the same, to what I've got  :laugh: :laugh:

Do you realize that almost all of Xenakis's late Percussion Music can be traced to the very last "drum roll" of 'Historie du Soldat'? Check it out, that whole piece is full of pre-Xenakis rolls. I'd say that 'O-MEGA's ending is based on '...Soldat'.



Title: Re: ANTIKHTHON
Post by: snyprrr on May 15, 2017, 08:51:05 AM
my interests have tended to be outside of classical music lately.

i'm m.i.a. too :(... you did hear about the iggy relic i was bequeathed? i promise pics soon... yea, i'm having an experience lately, is it the culmination of all things??? :o



hummus+pita days :P :-*
Title: Re: ANTIKHTHON
Post by: Cato on May 15, 2017, 09:33:17 AM
i'm m.i.a. too :(... you did hear about the iggy relic i was bequeathed?

WHAT?!  IGGY POP died?!

I didn't even know he was sick! 0:)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on May 22, 2017, 06:56:34 PM
Alien I am curious to know if you have analysed much Xenakis and if you could tell us about that, seeing that you are the Xenakis expert here. ^_^
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: aleazk on May 22, 2017, 07:00:05 PM
(even if I don't understand the mathematics i :laugh: )

In this interview he explains pretty straightforwardly his "probability approach" to composition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4nj2nklbts

Probably you already know that, but, in any case, I leave it as an addition to this Xen.  :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on May 22, 2017, 07:40:05 PM
Thanks so much Alien. It would be really interesting to hear about his works from your informed understanding of them.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on May 23, 2017, 02:59:35 PM
Thank you for going above and beyond, Alien! I know that this will help me discover some more Xenakis and have a better understanding of his works. I hope others can benefit from this as well. :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 04, 2017, 07:02:46 AM
If you don't return Snyprrr, I'm gonna....


(https://media.giphy.com/media/LPHXLKEOZw6T6/giphy.gif)

:)


yo bruthamaynge... da man been keepin me down, y'see... pimpin ain't ez   ;)


Where are you Snyprrr???????  >:( >:( >:(

watchin 'Willie Dynamite' and 'The 7-Ups'... I'm still STUCK in IgorLand, just can't seem to break free...


PLEASE SEND THREE BEAUTIFUL FEMALE KARATE SPIES TO BREAK ME OUT!!!!!!ASAP!!!!!!




please! :P




YEA-I might not be good for a little while- but I will try to find a Xenakis "in" from my Igorism... might have to start with 'Metastaseis' or 'Rebonds'....I know, it's a long road back to the farm...

hang in there


or, take Teresa May's advice, and RUN.HIDE.REPORT.

oy vey :(



IX's face wound is so iconic of the REAL world we live in- keep in mind that IX's "sound" comes from the sounds of war...


WAR

HORRIBLE WAR

all wars are bankers' wars
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 06, 2017, 11:23:27 AM
If you don't return Snyprrr, I'm gonna....


(https://media.giphy.com/media/LPHXLKEOZw6T6/giphy.gif)

why can't I do fun stuff like that? oh, giffy 0:)


btw- listening now to 'a R.' (Takahashi) in your honoure ;)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 06, 2017, 11:24:59 AM
Tell the man to piss off, then find your self a beer and the nearest IX CD you can reach. Put the CD on, have a bubble bath and then drink the beer while simultaneously relaxing to the dissonant thumping and hissing of your stereo.

Once you have attained an enlightened state of mind (or at least a less distracted one), lock your Igormania disks in a safe and give the key to your landlord.

Yep a good detective or noir film is good!  ;D
Ok Snyprrr I'll do you a deal. You trade me some Hawaiian chicks and we got a deal!                  ;)   


Hit. The. Road. and make those dreams come true  :D

I say a contrary to that, where like pretty much all of Darmstadt where making music in spite of the horrific things that had/where going on with the world wars. They where devoted to their craft and kept those artistic innovations flourishing into the 60s and beyond  :)

I have a true admiration for all of them, it wasn't an easy time to live through  :(

You realize that was Post #666? Sounds like you were making a deal there... >:D...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 07, 2017, 09:41:22 AM
Woah!  :o


(https://media.tenor.com/images/585eea1fdf7d6b5efcaaefe65643a860/tenor.gif)

You know... musicians and deals with the devil go a long way back,... just trying to save you some angst! ;) I was shown pretty clearly why i didn't "make it"- and it's a good thing I'm sure- everyone wants their Grail, but if you lose yourself getting it, what have you become?

In a way, I have that problem with Great Artists Who Are Monsters... anyhow,... can't engage, must go now 2 werke, ach du liebe!! :'(

from 'a R.; to Ravel's Piano Concerto, and now the last Stravinsky ordered arrived... you see, this mania will take some time to manage... I'm getting kind of becoming a serial monogamist with my listening habits, chortle!! :laugh:

I'll shoot for ... mmm... how bout 'Jalons' next?
Title: Re: Xenakis-Stravinsky=Feldman X [Varese X (Ella Fitzgerald/ Satie-Cowell)]
Post by: snyprrr on June 11, 2017, 07:25:32 AM
Stravinsky only went so far as to "copy" Webern. Xenakis only went "so far" also... what is the work being led up to, and from which all else recedes?

Stravinsky has sort of ruined a lot of Modernism for me at the moment. I want clarity... not that Ferneyhough can't/isn't clear, but I seem to desire A CERTAIN NUMBER OF NOTES- not more, not less... none are "wrong", it's just that I WANT a certain number...

I'm thinking that there is a CERTAIN limit... certainty... all the experimentation IS DONE (is it not? really?)... we are now truly ONLY COMPOSING- composing things out of other, CREATED, "things". Nothing new under the sun.

Xenakis seems to define a certain number of notes for me... the inclusion of Mahler with the diamonds of Webern/Stravinsky... the unification of Sibelius/Stockhausen










(yes, I did that on purpose just to have those two names together, lol, it looks so odd and funny [(tip: esoteric GMG humoure may not be the way to go, lol)]
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 13, 2017, 03:53:02 PM
If you don't return Snyprrr, I'm gonna....


(https://media.giphy.com/media/LPHXLKEOZw6T6/giphy.gif)

But now YOU'VE gone missing, and I'm asssuming that classes have just let out and you're getting drunk, lol,... am I right? Haha! All of a sudden it's summer and it's all about the tactile pleasures of youth, eh, nudge nudge, wink wink, eh, eh??!!

I must say that 'Akrata' has always been one of my fav works, period. It just has a beautiful, pacific feel to it.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on June 17, 2017, 01:10:45 AM
This bromance you two have could be wonderfully adapted into a Xenakis style chamber opera
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 17, 2017, 07:48:19 AM
This bromance you two have could be wonderfully adapted into a Xenakis style chamber opera

Truly, there seems to be nothing quite like bonding over A Great Man's Achievements- and it appears that I can "only" get that from someone with a penis. I've had to tell a few uppity feminits I was trying to date: "If I had wanted a friend, I would have been looking for someone with a penis." If you've never seen the following look on a woman's face, well, you're in for a real treat! ???

I'm always wary of gushing friendships, but, when you're dealing with such High Concepts, it's incredibly easy to do the do-si-doh and dance around the room with another man- both of you are equally in love with the IDEA. It's the Idea. And, when you find someone who gets it with you, it makes you feel like you have found a friend.

I was wandering around one night, Halloween, and waded through my busy bar and had to go all the way to the back. And there was this young lady, and we began chatting about the day, and then I quickly found out she was a fan of the exact same thing I was (no doubt due to her father (penis by proxy)). I, of course, was instantly destroyed: cute girl+my big obsession=love at first sight. She was engaged :( Let's say we bonded over cheezee B-movies that usually only guys love, but here was a "cool chick", unheard of- she knew and loved every movie I brought up, and I dazzled her with my knowledge.

And then, once, in college...


ahhhhh :-* :'( :-* :'( :-* :'( :-* :'(



I can't tell you how many perfect women I've absolutely screwede it up with... what a numbnut I can be (as you all well know, lol)



now I'm sad



when I'm sad, only The Numerical Games of God can get me over the illusion of the tender flesh...




Xenakis's Theology will be a matter for another Post. Was IX able to transcend the Created Universe and reveal the Creator, even though he himself was (I gather) a total atheist? Or, is there actually a crucial, missing, part in all of IX's music, that, if it were present, would blow our minds ten fold from 'Lichens'? Remember, "lichens" are of the Created Universe- is IX seeking only to illustrate natural processes, or, does the hand of an Absolute Creator sneak into his cold, dead, mechanical universe, even at the Composer's ignorance? Messaien and Stravinsky were both "in tune" (let's just say, comparing to IX) with God, but their music displays no "natural processes"; IX's music sounds more like "life", but, is it only the life of "movement", or is it TRUE LIFE ETERNAL?

anyhow... another Post...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on June 17, 2017, 11:44:46 PM
Xenakis loving babes do exist Snyprrr, believe me, I've seen them. We just have to break of a few relationships  ;)



It's true, I've known one but she didn't quite get the hints from me....I only wanted to be friends. Ended up cutting contact, thankfully.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on June 18, 2017, 12:49:00 AM
Oh yeah, I think I remember you saying  ???

Are you really that crazy???  :laugh:



Well i would rather not persist with a personality I'm not compatible with...... :P
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 18, 2017, 06:54:58 AM
Well i would rather not persist with a personality I'm not compatible with...... :P

uh... so you're saying that IF there are actually XenakisBabes out there, they're batshit cray cray? :( That's kind of what I was thinking...

What out for the girl whose fav movie is 'Suspiria', too, lol!!


They're called 'Unicorns' for a reason guys... if you meet a girl who's down with all yer "funky guy shit", you may want to reach down and check to see if there are any... mm... "externals"...hangin around... dangling, I mean...


Met a Japanese lady last night whose husband just left her for an internet Philipino tranny... jus' sayin' :laugh:



girls + Xenakis = ???????????? (I just don't see it working)- I guess you're right, Neilster- if there is one, she's in a relationship with "Brad/Chad", and must be released by any means necessary, lol...



I keep saying- the one piece of music I have that has seen the biggest exchange of bodily fluids is the Feldman 'Piano & String Quartet',... sometimes they find it soothing, sometimes they find it creepy... it's fun when I noticed I've hit Play FOUR TIMES over the course!!!!



Playing Schubert Trios ENRAGED one woman :P
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on June 18, 2017, 09:51:09 PM
Well I will find out if the woman with whom I am in love also enjoys the music of Iannis Xenakis

I remain hopeful. She once spent three whole days listening to nothing but Ligeti, particularly the middle period orchestral works and the etudes.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on June 21, 2017, 01:20:30 AM
Wait is that (won't say screen-name), that you said about ages ago? glad you two are still going well  :)

If she like (Ligeti and) Bartok too? she does right?  :-X then Xenakis won't be too much of a stretch  ;)

Same one, yes. I don't recall I have ever spoken to her about Bartok.

Highly likely that ginger (that was her screen name :laugh: ) likes Xenakis too anyway!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on June 21, 2017, 06:19:24 AM
What happened to your crackwhores?  :-\

They were like, "I deserve better!"





 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 03, 2017, 07:23:20 AM
I was just reminded of this informative presentation by no other than, James Harley himself!  :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQgs7DJis48 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQgs7DJis48)

oh! popcorn time ;)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on July 03, 2017, 05:12:42 PM

Xenakis himself didn't care at all for Cage, and essentially felt 'twas inept & pointless.

I didn't know that, so thanks. Where did you learn that Xenakis said that Cage's music was inept and pointless, and that he didn't care for it at all?

IIRC, the claim is inaccurate (per Matossian or Varga, but I will confirm). James was projecting...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on July 04, 2017, 03:06:45 AM
I didn't know that, so thanks. Where did you learn that Xenakis said that Cage's music was inept and pointless, and that he didn't care for it at all?

IIRC, the claim is inaccurate (per Matossian or Varga, but I will confirm). James was projecting...

Quote from: Conversations with Iannis Xenakis, Bálint András Varga, 1996, pg 56
Varga: You were one of the few people to support the music of John Cage right from the start.
Xenakis: Yes, I liked his thinking, which is of course a characteristic product of American society. I was attracted by the freedom and lack of bias with which he approached music. He also uses improvisation--not in a vulgar way but with the help of the i ching.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on July 04, 2017, 03:25:40 AM
Video of Polytope de Cluny, with images from the production at the Festival d'Automne (appears to be the same as in the Mode 203 DVD):

http://www.ubu.com/film/xenakis_polytope.html (http://www.ubu.com/film/xenakis_polytope.html)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on July 04, 2017, 05:51:44 AM
Oooh! I read that book last month, fantastic conversations.

(y)

I got it when it came out  ;)...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 11, 2017, 09:38:17 AM
Yep, now I've become bored of Xenakis because I know it all too well  :'(

mm hmm :-[

Hope you don't have to re-boot at Haydn!! ???

Ivo Malec?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 11, 2017, 09:47:04 AM
Yep, now I've become bored of Xenakis because I know it all too well  :'(

I'm tryyying not to burn out on Igor... I keep telling myself I've got plenty of music that has only been listened once or twice... uh, most of it Haydn era, hrr hmmm...

That's why there's Paul Naschy! :laugh: gotta cut loose every now and then, lol...



I can feel a Xenakis Marathon brewing perhaps... just thinking about that classic Arditti set, ahhh...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen BAD XENAKIS JOKES
Post by: snyprrr on July 11, 2017, 09:48:37 AM
What's a bored housewife's favoured Composer?







Xanaxis






 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:



I SAAAID IT WAS BAD!! ::) :P
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 12, 2017, 06:17:36 AM
I listened to Tetras last night and was like, was like "way too familiar"

What's happening to me Doc?

How will papa Iannis feel when he finds out my situation?

Is the moon really made of cheese?

scary feeling when something as awesome as IX starts becoming like oatmeal... I understand... you just can't "jump the shark" with epiphanies... there must be "down time"...

I should listen to 'Tetras' and the Luto SQ back-to-back...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 17, 2017, 06:11:02 AM
Nekuia gave me the thrills today, I love that work. A piece with quite obvious nods to Bartok and Stravinsky, aye Snyprrr?  ;)

His most "inclusive" piece? I do think that intro has such a... a... aye, monumental melody (almost like slow, overlapping octopus tentacles weaving)... I really do wish someone would put the 3 Great Choral/Orchestral Works on CD- 'Cendrees', 'Nekuia', and 'Anemoessa'. THAT would be the bestest Xenakis eva! All are already in the can and waiting for Erato/Warner to lose money on. :laugh:

I do have to listen to 'Nekuia' again, though. At almost 30mins., it is his biggest "solid"- we ARE thankful that he cracked the 20min. mark every now and then! ;)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 26, 2017, 05:02:22 AM
<3

I see it a lot but don't know what it means... "less than 3"???..."less than boobies"???... or is it a compromise between an "S" and an "X"?

OK, I'm gonna "try" some Xakkie today... it's gonna have to be an "off" piece... let's see...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on July 26, 2017, 07:05:08 AM
I see it a lot but don't know what it means... "less than 3"???..."less than boobies"???... or is it a compromise between an "S" and an "X"?



He's saying he loves you!

(https://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=29798494)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 26, 2017, 07:25:29 AM
He's saying he loves you!

(https://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=29798494)

awwwww 0:) :-*.....<32!! ;)

<32


/>-->}::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::{'.'.'.'.'
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 27, 2017, 06:39:09 AM
You are damn right about Nekuia. We are in dire need of a choir + orchestra disk, fucking timpani and mode  >:(

Listen to the whole of Vol.5 of the Timpani Cycle, the one with 'ST-48'. Boy, do I like that disc! And 'ST' just sounds great, there's even a Sibelian moment by accident, ahh, so icy and cold and brainy...

The whole CD is a shocker! And, as I've said, this is my fav 'Metastaseis' ever, and 'Pithoprakta' just makes me smile with its "mastadons on parade" intro- still the strangest sounding piece ever, no?

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 29, 2017, 06:03:51 AM
ready to binge

watch your figure!!!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on July 29, 2017, 06:18:50 AM
I wholeheartedly agree. Though Metastasis and (to a lesser degree) Pithoprakta just don't have that spice for me anymore. I love ST/48, fucking awesome!

The ST series is so awesome, a good comparative guide to orchestration too!

What do you think of ST/10?  :)

I'm finding 'Pithoprakta' fresher than ever, even though, to me, it sounds like the perfect representation of the bones of a giant mastadon. That intro still retains its WTF-factor for me... there's just nothing like that ridiculous shuffling...

Out of the ST series, I like the longer 'Atrees' the best. Of course, all the pieces are just totally representative of "space age"- they definitely have a sci-fi feel, a '50s sci-fi sound, that, though maybe dated, still soooundz as Modren as ever.

It seems the years 1954-1963 are the height of theory and practice, and that the 60s ... oh, nevermoind, I don't know how to articulate right now... coffee,... where's the coffee???......



1) With my Igor Pianola purchase, I might actually be up for that computer/keyboard disc of IX... you know?

2) Have you heard all the newer Piano Works recitals? Timpani, Pontus,.... I have left off with Takahashi...

You are damn right about Nekuia. We are in dire need of a choir + orchestra disk, fucking timpani and mode  >:(

The most logical would be for Warners to release the 'Nekuia'/'Ais' LP along with the 'Cendrees' LP. 'Anemoessa' is on that "40(0) Years of the Holland Festival". Only Tamayo, or some Japanese fella, would probably have the clout to record all three works anew... think of the union costs, lol.

A Warners Xenakis Box could be done... Discs 1-2 would be the current release, Disc 3 the other Erato with 'Plee-A-dees', and then Disc 4 with the above choral works.

throw us a bone why doncha,... eh?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: nodogen on August 08, 2017, 01:03:41 PM
You need to think about decaf.
Title: Re: What you've done to me :-\
Post by: snyprrr on August 08, 2017, 07:57:04 PM
Actually I'm now tempted to put on that Warner's recording of Ais   ::)


MUST.



RESIST.




MUST.



NOT.



PLAY.





 :'( :'( :'( :'(

That's the only one that does it for me. 'Ais' is a ridiculously outrageous piece, but needs a performance such as this to take it home to mom. The "horsey" stuff is funny/terrifying, but this early version with Sakkas is much more visceral than the Timpani remake.

And very Stravinskian, too... hmm...

Double whammy!  :laugh:


Yeah, Xenakis stresses me out sometimes because I've been completely obsessed with his music for so long, when I'm doing anything my mind automatically defaults to thinking about Xenakis quotes/interviews or pieces themselves  :-[

After a while, I have to put those Beethoven string quartets on, right?  ???

I wonder if this happens to our other XenakiFan Snyprrr?  ::)

I know, it's hard to get to sleep...zzz...zzz...zzz...zzz...


I'm still trying to find the best road out of IgorLand... I'm listening to the clarinet piece, that's how far gone I am, lol. The flippin clarinet piece,... ohhhh, the desperation...lol

But I haven't bought anymore Igor (though you're trying to get me that Threni), and I think the buying season might be over already, I don't know. I don't know what tonic will work. I fear if I go to Xenakis I'll "cheat" on Igor... yea, it's that bad right now...

But, in a good way! :)


nighty night
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on August 09, 2017, 05:44:24 PM
Yeah, Xenakis stresses me out sometimes because I've been completely obsessed with his music for so long, when I'm doing anything my mind automatically defaults to thinking about Xenakis quotes/interviews or pieces themselves  :-[

After a while, I have to put those Beethoven string quartets on, right?  ???

Nothing wrong with being obsessed by a composer. But yes, the Beethoven quartets are a good counterpoint. (Or something completely different from those, like Lalo, or Ives. OK, I'm kidding about one of those.)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on August 10, 2017, 06:28:55 AM

 :laugh:


That's right. Room to breathe is likely a good thing, for some reason a lot of modernism has just not been of interest lately. It's not that I listen to it now and think "this sucks" or "I don't understand this music anymore" but I just don't feel compelled to listen to it much, which is really strange  ??? as I write this kind of music myself.....

Well, I had that "meh" feeling when I finally broke out some minor-key Haydn Symphonies. Actually, they were very pleasant...

LOL

I am TOTALLY stuck, and I don't even know where anything's going at the moment. Tomorrow's gig has me thinking 'Kung Fu Fighting' instead of brain food music. ::) :(
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on August 15, 2017, 03:07:42 PM
Got this in the mail last week:



So far, some good reading on La Legende d'Eer and its parallels with Jonchaies.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on August 16, 2017, 05:47:47 AM
Got this in the mail last week:



So far, some good reading on La Legende d'Eer and its parallels with Jonchaies.

wow, 350 pages!... any epiphanies yet?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on August 19, 2017, 08:43:38 AM
The choral works at the moment are my present favorites, giving me a real thrill ride too  :-* :-* :-* :-*  8)

Is that the Devil Girl from Mars, or what??? She so hawt!


Took 'Lichens' out yesterday... yes... mm mm mm... the formation of Pantopeia... kinetic lightning... energy... forming, breaking apart... profusions of living eneregies... then the catastrophic landslide of percussion at the end...

... in a way, which makes 'Horos' even that much more like sand dune of death in the blazing noon sun, a monolithic sand dune of tones, vortex... and then 'Ata', all movement... the the "frozen" works of 1991...

WHAT A PROGRESSION!!


Let's discuss my most "hated" piece, 'DOX-ORKH', with that silly dance rhythm, which I have no come to terms with. Now I'm just glad it's there. I was surprised how regressive I found it, even with the Arditti rollercoaster laser beam going most of the time. It was one of the few recordings available at the time when we needed CLASSSIC IX to satisfy. It was almost as if IronMaiden had written a ballad!!

eh?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on August 20, 2017, 08:25:23 PM
No (great film though), it's Peggy Gravel from Desperate Living; a favorite film, which I've been talking about quite a bit here recently.
To say the least, she's a mental nutcase and towards the end of the movie she dresses up as a witch, to stir a pot filled with rabies  :D

Yea, Lichens is still an all-time favorite piece of music. An entirely unique Xenakis piece, heavy, euphoric and fucking catchy!

You hate Dox-Orkh  :(
That's a cool violin concerto, do you like it's cousin Troorkh?  ???

Actually Iron Maiden have written several ballads, they're usually too "proggy" to be straight up ballads though, the most straight forward being this really 80s sounding "Wasting Love". But their debut album has a ballad called "Strange world" which is beautiful, my favorite of their softer songs (despite that most of their songs are umm....duel electric guitars and dun dada dun, gallops  :laugh: )

Not a big Maiden fan tbh (despite mentioning how I really love those three particular albums in the non-classical thread), though I've got/heard all their music. I'm more of a Judas Priest fan  0:)


But, as to this thread. The IX choral works are really doing it for me at the moment. I've all of a sudden been feeling like Oresteia a lot lately, awesome cycle!  :-* :-*

1) I let John Waters come on to me once, and, I also bumped into Depp at the Club Charles during the 'Cry Baby' shoot.

2) It sthould have read that I have NOW come to terms with 'DOX-ORKH'... 'Troorkh' is Greeeeat!!! like an ice kingdom...

3) 'Oresteia'?... can't handle it just now,... 'Nuits' is Great- I really like the one on the Arion label.


late, must crash...zzzZZzzzzzZzZZzzz...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on August 26, 2017, 05:39:39 AM
wow, 350 pages!... any epiphanies yet?

None yet, but the detailed account about the extant tapes of La Légende d'Eer is very interesting. For instance, that the recording on Mode, supposedly being the one that is technically the most modern and faithfully recreated from the original tapes, suffers from having its entire last section (~13 minutes) digitally transferred at the wrong sample rate (44.1 instead of 48 kHz), resulting in it sounding about a semitone and a half lower than it should. Or that its spatialization doesn't match the presentation that Xenakis himself did or implied in the sketches. Another interesting detail is that this isn't a problem unique to that work: Similar issues are present in the releases of Persepolis on Asphodel and Edition RZ. For La Légende d'Eer, the authoritative version seems to be the one on Montaigne, which I much prefer to the Mode.

I haven't compared the various versions of those works yet and will leave that for a rainy day.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on August 26, 2017, 07:38:33 AM
Do you mean 'hit on' you?  :D in a bar?
That'd be amazing, "Waiter, can I have three pink flamingos and a cocktail"  :laugh:

If you like Waters, there's discussion of him in my film discussion thread ;)


Oresteia is my meat and potatoes right now  8)



I may have periods without listening to Xenakis but whenever I return to him after a break, I feel that same passionate love and affection. His music just means the world to me  :'(
I listened to Keqrops, Archoripsis and Eonta last night amongst my varied listening......also Plekto earlier today when I was sitting around doing nothing in the music department at my Uni  :D


Dude, I remember (was it in this thread?  ??? ) you once mentioning Mosaiques (that obscure IX work), do you have it?

1) John Waters... in a bar... the Club Charles... famous Baltimore landmark (eh, sort of)

2) 'Mosaiques' is supposed to be a cut-and-paste of works during the early '90s boon... no tapes I know of... ahhh, now you remind me of the "lost" 'Koiranoi'... will IT ever see any release?

Yes Snyprrr, I catagorise my life into two:

Before discovering Xenakis/Metastasis
After discovering Xenakis/Metastasis

 :laugh:



I took the Anastenaria/Troorkh/Ais WERGO CD out. 'Ais' is one head shaking piece! This is definitely the best performance, the earlier one by the singer Spiros Sakkas (the other one being on Timpani). I couldn't really handle it until I heard this original version (same as on Erato LP, I presume).

I got through the first two parts of 'Anastenaria', and am about to listen again to Charles Zachary Bornstein conduct 'Metastaseis'. Tamayo's my hands down favorite, but I remember liking this one too.

will report

None yet, but the detailed account about the extant tapes of La Légende d'Eer is very interesting. For instance, that the recording on Mode, supposedly being the one that is technically the most modern and faithfully recreated from the original tapes, suffers from having its entire last section (~13 minutes) digitally transferred at the wrong sample rate (44.1 instead of 48 kHz), resulting in it sounding about a semitone and a half lower than it should. Or that its spatialization doesn't match the presentation that Xenakis himself did or implied in the sketches. Another interesting detail is that this isn't a problem unique to that work: Similar issues are present in the releases of Persepolis on Asphodel and Edition RZ. For La Légende d'Eer, the authoritative version seems to be the one on Montaigne, which I much prefer to the Mode.

I haven't compared the various versions of those works yet and will leave that for a rainy day.

...leaving me wondering how 'Persepolis' on the Accord 'Alpha&Omega' Box fares...

very interesting ;)


I don't know why but all of a sudden I can't stop listening to Metastasis  ???

Sure, the work was the most profound turning point I've had in music but it's by far not his best work or a favorite of mine  IMO  :laugh:
I don't listen to it much otherwise, so it makes this odd...........

Here's my Composition Gift to you. Maybe we'll write it together? It's "the Xenakis guitar piece" he never wrote. Eh?

1) It would have a section for the asynchronous ascending and descending lines- I have tried working on this and it flippin beyond my patience to try to play out what I'm hearing,... and notating it wooould be interesting.

2) a section of octave/same note proliferation, with so of those 'Mikka' semi-tones.

3) a grinding stochastic section lasting longer than it should (LOL!!).

4) has to be some "special effects" section with, let's say, three pre-chosen sounds (ex: slide glissando, body/palm hit, "secret chord" figurations).

5) using the guitar's ability to play the same note many times at once (see: 2)).


and so on....


Game? $:)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: petrarch on August 27, 2017, 04:41:56 AM
Are we the two biggest IX fans?  :o

I got him to sign my copy of the programme notes at the premiere of Dämmerschein... Top that! :D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on August 28, 2017, 08:16:57 PM
Ok, you win. I would be sent to hospital if I met him, I'd probably faint and get into a coma  :laugh:

yea, petrarch, Edward, someguy, ... Mandryka?,... Scarpia?,... James,... there's a lot of people on board. We're but minnows!

BUT,... EVERY SUPERFAN IS A SUPERFAN!! lol :laugh:


'Ais' lingers... almost took 'DOX-ORKH' out... shoon, shoon

Sis i say I listened to 'Lichens'? It certainly IS kinetic.


I see myself drifting towards 'Herma'. I have a few recordings, but, I imagine I would point to Aki Takahashi; however, I do like the "pre-historic" sounding Georges Perlmutermacher(wassisname?) on that EMI 2CD set. He is very slow, but it brings things out in an oddly old fashioned way. Do you know of a transformative 'Herma'? Maybe the computer one on NEOS? hmm....


I have just about broken free of IgorMania2017... almost there...lol, but, Xenakis is there to pick up the baton.

I used to be so wide ranging, now I can barely get through one Composer at a time. Oy, my back!! But, no, Stravinsky was about as close to the end as anything for me. Now I really just go back to square one: 1951.

I'm not jaded.

I'm just not sure how much I've ever needed a "Composer" who was born after 1963. (or 58 for that matter)---so to speak





it's late, i'm delirious...sleeeeep......
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 01, 2017, 07:17:40 AM
This Ais

(https://img.discogs.com/CpNFFxKEd64mnvSAObyl1El3SwU=/fit-in/562x567/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-1882430-1333107786.gif.jpg)

(which I've listened to plenty of times in the past, classic vinyl  :-* ), is radically even more thrilling than the Tamayo (even though I've listened to that recording more times).

Listened to the Tamayo 'Ais'. Oy, what a pale comparison to the Erato! Sakkas is really not able to go whole-hog in the latter performance, and, oy oy oy, the percussionist has more stick hits than an out of work rasta!! The orchestra is also a little receded, but, I did notice sooome intriguing detail that I didn't pick up from the original, including some pretty beefy percussion (shame the young lady wasn't transcendental).

Sylvio Gualdo kind of cracks me up!... looking a little like Wolfgfang Puck :D


I also got a minute into 'Tracees'- ahhhh, what tonic!!!
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 03, 2017, 05:00:38 AM
Would it be a fair statement to say that Eonta is both one of the weirdest (as in, uncharacteristic) Xenakis works and also the greatest chronologically of the early period (before he wrote Oresteia) ??

Sure.

It took the Mode/Takahashi recording for this piece to speak to me. That one seems transcendent to me. The original Yuji T. version seems like a museum piece to me. And other versions have fallen far short (the London Brass on Teldec?). I'll have to find it here...


btw- 'N'Shima' is the one that reeeally drives me crazy. W.T.F.????? Haha! I prefer the ColLegno to the Mode, but it's not a piece I have warmed to

"ack ack ack ack ah ah ah ack ack ack"

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:




Oh, I getting nostalgic for '60s Xenakis :-*
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: kishnevi on September 03, 2017, 04:24:55 PM
Is it just me or does it feel out of place when you hear a mallet in a IX work? (besides Pleiades)

Mallets I associate too much with Messiaen, Boulez, Messiaen, Zappa, Boulez and Zappa  :laugh:

What about the percussion works?!

BTW, on your advice I ordered the Jack Quartet recording of the SQ works. (You had pointed to Tetras as a good place to start with IX.)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 22, 2017, 06:54:37 AM
Listened to Dikhthas and Plekto before when I was doing some chores, they're both such tasty works..sooo yumm!

The fast piano parts and lyrical violin in Dikhthas, and the exotic flute and groovy percussion in Plekto  8)

Which 'Plekto'? The one on Mode is @8mins., and the one on BVHAAST is @12.5; quite a compare there! Overall, the slower tempo seems more correct, the Mode has its moments, too.

'Keren'? ONLY by Lindberg! Have you hear the ultra embarrassing ADDA Sluchin, not to be confused with his later Erato? That original one is pretty pathetic, imo. Worth the shock face you get! ;D


Thinking about 'Horos',...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on September 28, 2017, 11:11:04 AM

The mode in this case, dis' pretty swell  ;D


Horos is damn fine!

Broke out the Abbado 'Kekrops': such a unifying work! I still think the opening sounds like 'Jaws vs. Predator vs. Kraken',... the piano even beat hammering, with the strings announcing oncoming peril. The recording isn't the last word in clarity, but the giant blocks crashing into one another are rendered fairly well. The harp makes this piece for me.


Haven't thought about Igor for a while now,... amazing how it all happens, eh?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on October 02, 2017, 07:29:01 AM
I have never been more meh about Xenakis in all my life, this is not a good sign  :-[

oh dear!


Just enjoyed 'Ata', his most Stravinskian piece?


He is what he is, and he's not what he's not. Try 'Mists'...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen ERGMA SCHMERGMA
Post by: Mandryka on October 21, 2017, 08:53:22 AM
Ergma

Mondriaan SQ (Vanguard)
JACK SQ (Mode)
Danel SQ (Stradivarius)

Gotta say, I thought the Danel sounded like they were having the most difficulty with the piece. I don't know how Mandryka hears it, but I intonation "humanity" in practically every utterance- when they do play "together", one hears the "mistakes" even more. I'd almost like to hear a Romantic treatment with full vibratos, lol!!

The Mondriaan have the debut, I think it's from 1996. Their's is as raw and wooly as the Danel, but I think they hit the diamonds a little better. I tend to prefer this one over JACK, but, the two sound quite different in terms of trimming.

The JACK have the smoothest rendition, along with having a silky recording, which the other two don't. I always thought the presentation hear took away from the violence, not that the JACK play reticently.

Still, yes, they all show signs of humanity when this piece in particular demands absolute mechanism. I'd rather hear it played by robots for now until the species develops beyond daily neurosis.- meaning, how can PEOPLE, who sleep, eat, and shit, play music that demands to be absolutely human-free?

Hey, they made a computer-rendition CD of the keyboard works...


Why don't one of youse guys punch 'Ergma' into your Sibelius and lets see what it sounds like with NO vibrato!!

I've heard the Mondriaan now I like it, I don't know whether I like it more than Danel, or whether it makes me like the quartet, but I like it. Thanks for pointing it out.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen ERGMA SCHMERGMA
Post by: snyprrr on October 23, 2017, 07:28:20 AM
I've heard the Mondriaan now I like it, I don't know whether I like it more than Danel, or whether it makes me like the quartet, but I like it. Thanks for pointing it out.

Not a piece I want to return just today! ;) Today would be a 'Charisma' day... or 'Persepolis'...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: kishnevi on November 01, 2017, 05:20:32 PM
Arkivmusic shows this as a new (10/27) release.
(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/naxos/large/764593029922.jpg)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: kishnevi on November 01, 2017, 06:12:26 PM
Quoth Arkiv's listing
The public would have to wait until after the composer’s death before hearing the original version of Metastaseis A, which took place in 2008 in Torino under the direction of Arturo Tamayo, who conducts the work in this recording, its first commercial release.

So is the Metastaseis A an existing recording now commercially released or a new recording by Tamayo?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on November 02, 2017, 06:18:20 AM
I listened to a Xenakis CDs a few days ago during my graceful return back to music (after literally giving up on listening to music for near a month) and while I enjoyed them, I still don't have the enthusiasm I once has for Xenakis back.

It would seem ridiculous to those with fragile ears but Xenakis' music just isn't extreme enough for me (anymore).


I need really extreme emotional intensity, still finding it hard to discover. Some of Jani Christou's (I know you know him Snyprrr) music fits the bill but due to the theatricism of his mature style, it only exists in moments of much more gradually anticipated works.

Penderecki's Threnody sounds soothing, except for when it's blasting at 85 dBA. You know what I mean?

If Xenakis isn't extreme enough, and Penderecki's Threnody sounds "soothing," perhaps time for some high contrast. I recommend Puccini.

 ;D ;D ;D

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: ritter on November 02, 2017, 06:24:28 AM
If Xenakis isn't extreme enough, and Penderecki's Threnody sounds "soothing," perhaps time for some high contrast. I recommend Puccini.

 ;D ;D ;D

--Bruce
Yep..the problem with "extreme" as an attribute of music is that it can always be superseded by the next piece of music you encounter, and then the previous piece seems bland. Thus, a tactical retreat to winter quarters may be wise. Not necessarily Puccini...a Mozart Piano sonata will have the necessary cleansing effect.

IMHO, "extreme" actually is not an attribute of music... :-[
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: milk on November 02, 2017, 06:24:49 AM
If Xenakis isn't extreme enough, and Penderecki's Threnody sounds "soothing," perhaps time for some high contrast. I recommend Puccini.

 ;D ;D ;D

--Bruce
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: amw on November 02, 2017, 06:35:22 AM
If Xenakis isn't extreme enough, and Penderecki's Threnody sounds "soothing," perhaps time for some high contrast. I recommend Puccini.

 ;D ;D ;D

--Bruce

Or just go further >.>

https://www.youtube.com/v/PfAkokIAA34

https://www.youtube.com/v/zHS0XtFxO3o

https://www.youtube.com/v/rRFLsNcHY5g

I think "extreme" and "bland" are not attributes of music but rather reactions to it though. If someone is finding contemporary music "bland", what I'd probably recommend is actually going back to very early music, like medieval or earlier—a time period totally divorced from contemporary thought and artistic belief. That would probably have the necessary freshness.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on November 02, 2017, 08:01:52 AM
I listened to a Xenakis CDs a few days ago during my graceful return back to music (after literally giving up on listening to music for near a month) and while I enjoyed them, I still don't have the enthusiasm I once has for Xenakis back.

It would seem ridiculous to those with fragile ears but Xenakis' music just isn't extreme enough for me (anymore).


I need really extreme emotional intensity, still finding it hard to discover. Some of Jani Christou's (I know you know him Snyprrr) music fits the bill but due to the theatricism of his mature style, it only exists in moments of much more gradually anticipated works.

Penderecki's Threnody sounds soothing, except for when it's blasting at 85 dBA. You know what I mean?

Jani Christou . . . .  have you heard Nono's Prometeo? Or Hespos's Kaps?
Title: Re: Xenakis vs Poulenc
Post by: snyprrr on November 02, 2017, 08:57:38 AM
Jani Christou . . . .  have you heard Nono's Prometeo? Or Hespos's Kaps?
[/quote n
Hespos is a good one for "extreme"...


yea, this "extreme" thing I know well, and, yes, one MUST RETREAT back to the "normals" or one will never ever that important aspect of the extreme: that normal stuff seeeems extreme in the face of extreme stuff...

huh?

Currently, I'm finding Poulenc extreme, so, there ya go!!!




Perhaps that Poster who found IX normal this time around should listen to 'N'Shima'... oy vey, that's as extreme as I ever would want to stomach... mostly, ANY vocal shenanigans I find beyond the bounds of extremity...

things can be extremely bad, extremely stupid, extremely boring, extremely annoying, extreme for the sake of hurting or violence...


music caaan be usedasa weapon, just ask Waco...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen MAJOR NEW XENAKIS RELEASE
Post by: snyprrr on November 19, 2017, 06:47:23 PM
Metastaseis A (World Premiere)
Terretekhtorh
Nomos Gamma


Mode Records Xenakis Edition


Well, I don't know how thrilled, or disappointed, you might be, but here it is, the first MAJOR Xenakis release since... the last Mode release 2 or 3 years ago. Oy vey, we are of heaving hearts here! So, when I first saw it on the Amazon ticker, and couldn't see the programme, I was SURE that here we would have the few remaining IX works that hadn't seen the light of day; but, no, we have brand new digital recordings of, arguably, two of IX's most... uncompromising yet communicative works. That would be great if the fill-upwere 'Koiroanoi'(?) or 'Mosaiques' or a few other works that we are all itching to hear; instead, we have what is the ORIGINAL "version" of 'Metastaseis' ::), and, I'm sorry, I sunk back down in my chair. :(

Of course I haven't heard it yet, and it's got a cool cover, but, I feel like I'm not concerned with what "they're" concerned with- the people with the monies to do this kind of thing. Maybe this album is aimed at the IX neophyte, maybe it's a marketing decision, I dunno...

Either way, I gueeess we have to celebrate :-\
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 20, 2017, 02:33:48 PM
Is it just me or does it feel out of place when you hear a idiophone in a IX work? (besides Pleiades)

Idiophone I associate too much with Messiaen, Boulez, Messiaen, Zappa, Boulez and Zappa  :laugh:



edit: I wrote mallet cause my brain was distracted lol

I'm expecting a reply to the previous post!!!!!!! tap tap tap tap
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen MAJOR NEW XENAKIS RELEASE
Post by: snyprrr on November 20, 2017, 02:40:29 PM
Metastaseis A (World Premiere)
Terretekhtorh
Nomos Gamma


Mode Records Xenakis Edition


Well, I don't know how thrilled, or disappointed, you might be, but here it is, the first MAJOR Xenakis release since... the last Mode release 2 or 3 years ago. Oy vey, we are of heaving hearts here! So, when I first saw it on the Amazon ticker, and couldn't see the programme, I was SURE that here we would have the few remaining IX works that hadn't seen the light of day; but, no, we have brand new digital recordings of, arguably, two of IX's most... uncompromising yet communicative works. That would be great if the fill-upwere 'Koiroanoi'(?) or 'Mosaiques' or a few other works that we are all itching to hear; instead, we have what is the ORIGINAL "version" of 'Metastaseis' ::), and, I'm sorry, I sunk back down in my chair. :(

Of course I haven't heard it yet, and it's got a cool cover, but, I feel like I'm not concerned with what "they're" concerned with- the people with the monies to do this kind of thing. Maybe this album is aimed at the IX neophyte, maybe it's a marketing decision, I dunno...

Either way, I gueeess we have to celebrate :-\
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: You did it on November 22, 2017, 09:21:46 PM
I got the score for Naama today, aside from being a really impressive work, it's the closest he got to being able to replicate the force of the orchestra in a solo piece. This piece is intensely rhythmic and layered with cluster chords pretty much throughout the whole thing. A very cool melodic section in the middle to (with mini inverted harmonies too!)  :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: snyprrr on November 24, 2017, 04:23:43 PM
First thought is:

Yay a new Xenakis release!!!!  ;D

Second thought is:


FUCK YOU MODE FOR NOT RECORDING THE UN-RECORDED STUFF, THIS RELEASE IS A BLOODY MONEYGRAB  :'( :'( :'( :'( :'

Sorry to say  :(

I I feel ya.Didn't see you celebrating/lamenting the new release.

But, ya can't yell at producer Brian Brandt for giving his all, it seems. But yea, us 10 would like to hear the stuff, maaaan.


Am interested in hearing the spacial pieces in modern recs. tho.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: You did it on November 24, 2017, 04:40:27 PM
Am interested in hearing the spacial pieces in modern recs. tho.

Would be interesting, given how spacial sound has kept evolving since the early 2000s.

Either that or.......you know.......some performances of that Xenakis stuff  :(


Why can't they program Oresteia instead of Messiah around Christmas time?   8)

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: You did it on November 26, 2017, 09:31:58 PM
Achorripsis has something special about it I think, particularly if you pay attention to the bass trombone, cellos/double basses and the percussion, you kind of sense a dance-like spirit, it's a fun piece. He started to formulate a totally unique sound here (not that he hadn't already, but still).

The ringing bassoon parts towards 3/4 are damn meaty!  :D
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen: The 3 Works for Chorus and Orchestra
Post by: snyprrr on March 03, 2018, 02:47:49 PM
Cendrees
Nekuia
Anemoessa


'Nekuia' seems positively Romantic compared with the slab of High Modernism that is 'Cendrees', jazzy flute solo and all! 'Anemoessa', which has a "windy" meaning, is appropriately windy sounding, along with having classic IX sounds.


I have slowly been working my way back to Xenakis from Stravinsky, through Paris to Messiaen.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen: The 3 Works for Chorus and Orchestra
Post by: Manwithaplan on March 19, 2018, 08:16:22 PM
I have slowly been working my way back to Xenakis from Stravinsky, through Paris to Messiaen.

So I had been completely clean of classical music since October last year......then I went straight into the Xenakis  :D


There is just something incredibly awesome about Xenakis' work, not only is it an aesthetically behemoth-type entity that could destroy a planet in a single blow but it is simultaneously a compassionate, kind-hearted fairy  :laugh: 

Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen: 'Strategie'
Post by: snyprrr on March 22, 2018, 06:54:49 AM
So I had been completely clean of classical music since October last year......then I went straight into the Xenakis  :D


There is just something incredibly awesome about Xenakis' work, not only is it an aesthetically behemoth-type entity that could destroy a planet in a single blow but it is simultaneously a compassionate, kind-hearted fairy  :laugh:

Well, the whole Debussy-Messiaen-Stravinsky-Xenakis thing has come back around, have been slowly getting into a IX frame of mind, separating the phases...

Just gotinto 'Charisma' yesterday. Not a piece that spoketo me until I heard the ColLegno vintage recording (on the famous ColLegno series release, with 'Ioolkos'). That recording presents a perfect picture for me, with great ambience, "lontano"... one can put this on infinite repeat...

Also hitting my very fav Maryvonne les Dizes Accord recording of 'Mikka-MikkaS'. Only she gets the languid quality going in perfect slow glisses with just amount of non-violin sound and ambience.

May have to go to 'Zythos' next just to keep perspective...


oy- I do feel a Xenakis explosion about to happen!!



Also looking up that old Ozawa recording of 'Strategie'...
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Manwithaplan on March 24, 2018, 02:26:02 PM
I've read he was, in some sense. Nevertheless his language in the 1970s is  replete with ideas which are "spiritual." Look at this:

This sort of thing may have been sincere, it may have been public relations, it was the time of hippies, the age of Aquarius, all of that. Anyway, what I really want to say is that the communist-materialist understanding of Xenakis  prima facie doesn't fit what we know about him in the 1970s, the period of the site specific multi-media spectacles.

Have you heard of the "world polytope?"

I know exactly what you mean. His interests in Greek mythology, Homer's Odyssey, Plato, Noh music/theatre, Ritual, primitivism (raw, transgressive, uncompromising expression) and the cosmic etc, definitely shows strong spiritual subtext to what his music is getting at.
It's hard to put into words, but when you really experience it - you know (and feel) it! (regardless of your own religious or non-religious stance)
Something outside of just religion too, certain aspects of both the human experience (like 'fight or flight', in our animalistic layer of humanity) to mystical experiences (regardless of the origin, even drug trips are valid), to pain, suffering, joy, ecstasy.
Whether it's apparent on the surface to the average classical listener who happens to click on a Xenakis video or not, these things are inherently the foundation of Xenakis' mature musical language and expression.
The early period (not pre-Metastasis) is more preoccupied with architecture and post-Futuristic/Scientific ventures, which is where many listeners get completely lost (or put off) with Xenakis. Graphs, maps, diagrams and the sort are fixations in this period, as it is part of the journey from the naive innovator to the relentless genius.
The aesthetics of Xenakis' music (and a lot of other milestone composers like Stockhausen, who is fixated with space, God, meditation and other things), I generally don't think are things that many of the anti-Xenakis people are either interested in or are acquainted with.
The spiritualism and mysticism is definitely there, even though Xenakis himself claimed he was an atheist.
It does, however hint at the immense power that many of the ancient myths have and the truths about humanity the preserve. Confronting? Depends on the individual. Xenakis' music has an incredibly strong emotional impact on me but I can easily listen to his work on a casual basis (lol, like at the supermarket  :D )

Yeah, there is my informed observation on what you hinted at (a while ago) :)
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on January 29, 2021, 01:00:13 AM
(https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0550672889_16.jpg)

https://karlrecords.bandcamp.com/album/persepolis

Lovely sounding new mixing of Persepolis here.

Comparing it with the one from the 1970s made me keen to see Xenakis’s mixing instructions, if indeed he left any - does anyone have it?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Brewski on January 29, 2021, 05:24:51 AM
(https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0550672889_16.jpg)

https://karlrecords.bandcamp.com/album/persepolis

Lovely sounding new mixing of Persepolis here.

Comparing it with the one from the 1970s made me keen to see Xenakis’s mixing instructions, if indeed he left any - does anyone have it?

Can't help with the instructions, but thanks a lot for posting the recording! Looks very tasty.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on January 29, 2021, 02:04:02 PM
Can't help with the instructions, but thanks a lot for posting the recording! Looks very tasty.

--Bruce

The new Legende d’eer on the same label is also worth exploring I think.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: CRCulver on January 29, 2021, 02:09:42 PM
The new Legende d’eer on the same label is also worth exploring I think.

This is not a surround-sound release of this very spatialized work, so what is the point of this when a fine stereo-only recording was already released on Naïve? I wish someone would do a Bluray release, that would be worth getting. The Mode DVD, like all of their surround-sound releases, has a relatively low-quality codec and one would wish for lossless sound.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on January 29, 2021, 02:21:59 PM
This is not a surround-sound release of this very spatialized work, so what is the point of this when a fine stereo-only recording was already released on Naïve? I wish someone would do a Bluray release, that would be worth getting. The Mode DVD, like all of their surround-sound releases, has a relatively low-quality codec and one would wish for lossless sound.

The point is as follows:

Quote
this now is a new version, using the 8-track-version that XENAKIS himself presented at Darmstädter Ferienkurse in august 1978. As the automatic spatialization is lost, this became the only original version of this composition and is presented here (mixed down to stereo by MARTIN WURMNEST who tried to preserve the spatial movements as perceptible as possible – mastered by RASHAD BECKER at D&M) for the very first time.

Re specialisation, people tell me that new ideas about binaural mastering are better at capturing the feeling of sound coming from several places than regular stereo through room speakers. That’s the way to go I think. Richard Barrett has been working on this.

I get the impression that a lot less is known about Xenakis’s mixing, there’s a lot of scope for new ideas about how to mix the master tapes.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: CRCulver on January 29, 2021, 02:52:54 PM
Re specialisation, people tell me that new ideas about binaural mastering are better at capturing the feeling of sound coming from several places than regular stereo through room speakers. That’s the way to go I think. Richard Barrett has been working on this.

Binaural masterings assume that one is sitting precisely between two stereo sources. However, originally La légende d'Eer was presented in a venue where people could walk around, move closer to some sound sources than others. A 5.0 release would better that.

Thanks for the blurb about what makes this new release distinctive.
Title: Musica nova Helsinki livestreaming Xenakis
Post by: Brewski on February 04, 2021, 06:51:03 AM
From Feb. 2-10, Musica nova Helsinki is doing some Xenakis, livestreamed at the link below. Also music from Simon Steen-Andersen and Lisa Streich, the festival's composers-in-residence.

https://musicanova.fi/en/

--Bruce
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on February 07, 2021, 07:19:25 AM
Formalized Music

https://uberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Xenakis_Iannis_Formalized_Music_Thought_and_Mathematics_in_Composition.compressed.pdf
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: T. D. on February 07, 2021, 01:14:07 PM
Formalized Music

https://uberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Xenakis_Iannis_Formalized_Music_Thought_and_Mathematics_in_Composition.compressed.pdf

Thanks. I have a background in math and statistics/probability, so this is interesting reading.
Years ago, I saw a snippet of FORTRAN code that implemented one of Xenakis's ideas. It found it really simplistic, just a Gaussian random walk. The booklet you linked to furnishes background and treats more topics.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mandryka on February 07, 2021, 01:15:33 PM
Thanks. I have a background in math and statistics/probability, so this is interesting reading.
Years ago, I saw a snippet of FORTRAN code that implemented one of Xenakis's ideas. It found it really simplistic, just a Gaussian random walk. The booklet you linked to furnishes background and treats more topics.

The thing which caught my attention wasn't so much the maths but the account of the development of music at the start -- his discussion of serialism and polyphony. Really there's a lot in common between Xenakis and Ligeti.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Symphonic Addict on September 05, 2021, 03:54:53 PM
Jonchaies has to be one of the most hair-rising, coruscating, thrilling as hell and virtuosic orchestral pieces ever written. F*ck! A rollercoaster of a work!!

Are there any works similar like this in his output?
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on September 05, 2021, 06:24:45 PM
Jonchaies has to be one of the most hair-rising, coruscating, thrilling as hell and virtuosic orchestral pieces ever written. F*ck! A rollercoaster of a work!!

Are there any works similar like this in his output?

You might want to give Hiketides a listen. It’s not a non-stop rollercoaster ride, but it does show a different side of the composer towards the end of the work when there is some poignant lyricism brought to the fore. I think you’ll dig it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4Lx1rbo8wI
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Symphonic Addict on September 05, 2021, 07:54:10 PM
You might want to give Hiketides a listen. It’s not a non-stop rollercoaster ride, but it does show a different side of the composer towards the end of the work when there is some poignant lyricism brought to the fore. I think you’ll dig it:

https://www.youtube.com/v/r4Lx1rbo8wI

Thank you, John. I'm kind of eager to listen to more of his works. His style may be absolutely visceral and dissonant at times, but there is also an important element about creativity and how handling textures. A fascinating figure of the 20th century.
Title: Re: Xenakis's Xen
Post by: Mirror Image on September 05, 2021, 08:01:12 PM
Thank you, John. I'm kind of eager to listen to more of his works. His style may be absolutely visceral and dissonant at times, but there is also an important element about creativity and how handling textures. A fascinating figure of the 20th century.

You’re welcome. I was lucky to have bought a good bit of Xenakis for a several years for good prices and I’ve been thrilled with a lot of what I’ve heard so far. It’s rather interesting that he was one of Messiaen’s students.